Thursday, July 23, 2015


I've been reading, not writing, lately. I've been summer-lazy, like I want to live off of Pace's popsicles and icy lemonade, and sit in this stuffed chair with my feet on the ottoman and read read read. To Kill a Mockingbird is happening right now. I want it fresh in my mind for when I start Go Set a Watchman. Calpurnia just called Scout, Jem, and Dill in for their summertime ritual of midmorning lemonade. I want to do this. Am I too late? Is this summer too far gone already to start something new? I'm afraid I'll blink and it will be Halloween. We must make the lemonade!

Thursday, July 16, 2015


The wood has a darker stain than when I was younger, so the worn corners are not as noticeable. Maybe visitors, people who don't have history with us, wouldn't even notice them. But I look at those nicked corners of the coffee table every time I walk into the blue and white house. Sometimes I move my fingers along its sides and remember.

The solid maple table was bought by my parents out of an underground war bunker, two street levels beneath a storefront in Frankfurt, Germany. I picture their eyes running along the patterns in the wood on top. I imagine them pulling in and out the small drawer, examining the thick, squared legs. They paid two hundred marks for it. It was 1973.

My dad, being a United States Army man, had been stationed in Germany several years before I was born. The upper management of our family had a life there. Two brothers were born there. I wish we had more photos.

The table was about four feet high, used for conferences or in a lab. My parents had length taken off the legs so it could be used in front of their couch to hold books, cups, and newspapers. In Germany, then back here across the ocean, their six, seven, eight, nine, ten children found about eighty-seven more uses for the sturdy, now-coffee, table. It was a stool. It was a fort. It was a skating rink. It was a dance floor. It was the center of our world.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Two Finches

The two yellowy finches were there, right outside our big window. They grasped onto the tiptop of a flowering mint branch and pecked in and out of the blossoms. They were deliberate in their pecking. They were happy, so I was happy. I was carried away in this magic when from downstairs a certain little girl started screaming, "I HATE YOU!" And also, "STUPID!" And then her brother came up, telling me all the wrong things she had done in the last 2 minutes. I glanced at my finches, willed them to stay a few, and went downstairs to rescue the brothers from their little sister. I came back upstairs and the birds were gone. I went back to making dinner.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Now Hiring for Bodyguard Position, Compensation Will Be Given in the Form of Red Vines

My life was threatened yesterday by a eight-going-on-nine-year-old girl who has a crush on my son.

"You and I are the only ones who know. If you tell ANYONE...!"

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Because the world is too big, life is too heavy, and my kids keep talking freely about dying and how and heaven, I sat and pet the dog. I cleaned the bathrooms. I postponed the outing to the planetarium. I listened to sprinklers spraying and breathed deeply. I gave myself permission to feel.