Family, love and light

We used to visit them in the Blue Mountains outside of Walla Walla, Washington. Summer vacations where my mom would ship my sister and I off with grandpa to visit relatives in Idaho and Washington for weeks at a time. Concentrated time in a smokey minivan with my annoying little sister and only a notebook and walkman for company. It's a miracle we survived....more

First Communion, Nostalgia, and How Time Really Does Fly

Facebook newsfeeds teem with Prom photos this time of year, and--if you are Catholic--with First Communion pictures.  Both are rites of passage that many of us can relate to and which engender nostalgia (or PTSD, depending on what your Prom experience was)....more

Childhood dreams

We made them crowd into the shed, sweltering in the Sacramento summer. It was our "classroom." And by golly, we had signed binder paper permission slips from their parents which meant that even if we had to chase them, our siblings would comply. For awhile anyway.Getting them to do their homework was another story entirely.Welcome to my childhood dream....more

Dear Diary

Dear Diary:Let me begin with an apology. I know I’ve neglected you these last few years–since 1985, in fact, when I went to college, and life took off. During my freshman year, for example, I spent at least two weeks giggling over the name Balzac. Then I made some friends, and quite often we were compelled to dance to “Sweet Child of Mine” until 1 a.m. It left very little time for recording my thoughts, unfortunately. As it turns out, reflection isn’t a priority when one is counting down to Steak Night in the cafeteria....more

Places I Used to Know

We went to Half Moon Bay today, to go to the beach. It was a deliciously lazy time, dragging fingers through sand, splashing in  shallow pools.When I was nine, my mother moved to Half Moon Bay, out of spite, according to my father. Every other weekend, he would have to make the hour and a half drive to pick me up from an overnight visitation. The commute was clearly my mother’s way of punishing him. As an adult, looking back, this is darkly hilarious to me. Growing up with this mentality was proof that my parents’ divorce exemplified all human deficits....more

The Landslide

    As I rock you, little one, I can't believe how far your legs dangle down. Tears gather as I recall the shape and weight of your newborn form: Nestled in my arms, snug within your blanket. The blanket that no longer covers your toes. I've been afraid of changing. ...more

The Loco-Motion

From my blog, Take It Easy published on 21 November 2014In the late 50s/early 60s, when I was a boy, car ownership was much less prevalent than now. We were in the majority: we didn't have a car. This meant that holidays and days out were usually taken by train. Of course, this was part of every little boy's dream in those days: when we grew up we wanted to be Casey Jones. I am old enough to remember the noise and mess of steam trains, before diesel and electric power came along. It was fabulous!...more

Someplace Else

Most days are good days. I find my zone fairly early, and I write while the kids are at school so that I can pay the rent and buy the groceries and shop for the non-sparkly shoes. I am happy to see them walk through the door at half past three, listen to Erin tell me in great detail how her classes were and what she and her friends ate at lunch, and try like hell to nudge Nicholas to say more than ‘ugh’ and ‘I guess.’...more

Flashback Friday: That one time I was a mermaid

 Circa 1995, California State Fair, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" Li...more

I wanted to be a ballerina when I grew up

 My dance teacher, Joanna of Joanna's Kids-R-It in Sacram...more