Hiking the Inca Trail, Day 2: Nobody Messes with Dead Woman's Pass

After a successful first day hiking the Inca Trail, Day 2 loomed ahead as menacing as the name of the high elevation pass we would hike up to for most of the day: Dead Woman’s Pass....more

Getting Beat by the Blind Kid with Cerebral Palsy

My nephew Ben was born prematurely with cerebral palsy. His seventeen years have been punctuated by painful operations. He has faced each one with courage and grace, hardly complaining, occasionally admitting that it doesn’t feel so great to have been dealt this hand. But his sly smile and hearty laughter show up more often than his complaints.Recently, he went blind....more

Driving in the Car with Anna Karenina

The miles roll by while I am listening in the car, and I have more ideas for writing than ever before. Seeing these sentences lingering by the dashboard somehow triggers half-forgotten memories, and they rise up in vivid sentences. ...more
Ah, I definitely relate to your pleasure in audio books.  My favourite audio books are The ...more

Hey, Raw Meat!

My little brother and I would wait for the card game to end in the deserted ladies lounge. We got unlimited sodas from the bartender and a pocketful of quarters for the jukebox, playing “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” over and over since it was the only song we knew. This was free day care before day cares dotted the landscape.Jimmy and my dad played a lot of poker together, and when one of them bet on a losing hand and had to flip over his cards, the other would shout: “He’s raw meat!” Eventually they called each other “Raw Meat” and then just “Meat” all the time....more

Driving Lessons

At the edge of the busy intersection, I hesitated. Was it my turn? I crept forward, but the car on my right darted in. I looked both ways, crept forward again. The car opposite me lurched ahead. It must be my turn now. I gently pressed my foot on the gas pedal, but the Jeep on my left moved forward too. I slammed on the brakes. Stuck there, blocking the way, horns blaring. Gridlock....more

Laughter from a Bright Yellow Sweater

I thought I was safe to go to a comedy club in New York City, but I was wrong.If a performer on stage ever needs a volunteer, I have a special talent: I become invisible. His eyes will pass right by me, and if by some quirk his eyes land on me momentarily? He will read the sign on my chest that says, “If you pull me onto your stage, I will stand there awkwardly until I’ve sucked every last drop of life from your show.” His eyes will move on to the next available sucker....more

A Church That Welcomes Atheists

Raised Catholic but now without faith, Marcy still missed the community feeling of spiritual worship. Much to her surprise, she found exactly what she was looking for:As someone who has lost her religion, I still seek the community that a church can provide. Over the past few years, I have occasionally attended church services, but I’ve been an imposter....more
i've been to UU services. they are not. i like the openess of belief or not to believe.more

Goodnight Moon, Goodnight iPad

My teenage boys are poised between childhood and adulthood, and the new year prepares to arrive. I find myself reflecting on letting go of the past and embracing the future....more
@Denise Thanks, Denise. They really, really do. I can't believe it--he's turning 16 next month.more

A Christmas Quest: Solve the Riddles to Find Your Present

My teenage boys puzzled through with determination, trying to find their Christmas present, but I had unwittingly made one of the riddles extra hard....more

Living with the Millennial Generation Means Not Laughing at Rage Comics

The generation gap has become a gulf in my household, and I struggle every day to keep up. Three quick observations:...more