This is the work of life.

It was a gorgeous night — all peepers and frogs, and dry as a bone after two days hot and wet enough to melt glass — and I spent much of it sitting on our front porch with Addie, our [almost] fifteen-year-old Yellow Lab, who came to us at seven-years-old having been dumped by her people...more

Little scraps of wisdom.

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom. ~Umberto Eco I have the metal strongbox, where he kept the hatband from his days as a Naval officer, that he let me play with as a child ....more

On Earth Day Ennui

On April 22, 1970, I was seven years old. Mrs Kwartowitz, my first grade teacher, wore...more

Infrequent Potatoes

I was a particularly tiny baby; my mother didn’t know that she was pregnant for six months (being unable to get...more

Write back.

It’s either a brain tumor, or maybe because I’ve had...more

A New Book (and anniversary fritters)

It’s been a long while since I’ve written, but I have a (semi-) decent explanation:...more

My Holiday Wish For You

What I wish for you, this 2014 Holiday Season: Good health Love Food on your table Happy children Safe children Safe older parents Kindness Compassion Rest Comfort A roast chicken Fresh kale salad A bowl of ramen Eggs from chickens who live nearby Rescued dogs Rescued cats E.B. White Warm gingerbread A good Brunello Lindsey Shere’s Almond Tart Gluten No Gluten A loaf of crusty bread Handmade tofu Honorable politicians Hot coffee Welsh Cakes Alice Munro Cabbage...more

These are the smells of life and sustenance.

Every night, there is another celebrity Christmas special to watch: The Osmond Brothers, wearing shearling coats like the one my father had from his dude ranch days, and which my mother incinerated, sing carols from Temple Square in Salt Lake City, enormous flakes of snow settling down on their thick, gorgeous, Mormon eyelashes. John Denver, wearing a metallic silver, yoke-front, western-style shirt sings Merry Christmas Little Zachary, a song to his new baby boy, from inside a heated glass geodesic dome atop a mountain in Aspen, while Annie Denver and a passel of their hippie EST friends from watch contemplatively through matching round granny glasses. There are The Waltons, the father of whom is forever getting stranded in a freak snow storm high atop Walton’s Mountain, leaving Livvy Walton, and the children, and Grandma and Grandpa worried sick — too worried, even, to sit down at their massive farmhouse table laden with the gifts of the season that Livvy bought with spare change hoarded all year in her apron pocket, and then hidden in a blue glass Mason jar, here, in the midst of The Great Depression ....more

Thanks. Giving.

In 1974, when I was 11 years old, I took part in a Thanksgiving play at school. Gaga, my grandmother, ran out to the local fabric store on Austin Street in Forest Hills, and came home with enough polyester yardage to make me an outfit that she was certain would replicate what Priscilla Alden wore on the day she stepped off The Mayflower. Borrowing a neighbor’s sewing machine, Gaga turned into Gramma Walton, and sewed...more

Earth and Sky

It’s hard to say for sure, but I’m starting to believe that the minute I go into my writing cave — I’m at work on my next memoir...more