Contingencies

Lately I am thinking of contingency. Standing in her office, my editor recently reminded me that writing is a job just as ditch-digging is. The ditch must be dug. Must not also the writing be written? She is right, of course. The ditch-digger goes to work and digs her ditch; so must the writer go … More Contingencies

Maddie and Motherhood

Healing Maddie Brees and I are headed to another book club tonight. I am very much looking forward to it. It’s tricky, though: when invited, I always tell my host that I recognize the liability. Having an author present for her book’s discussion can decidedly hamper dialogue and limit expression: how many attendees will be willing … More Maddie and Motherhood

Home

The subject line of the email: “Stony Brook House.” The text was limited. Just a note from my dad, how pleased my parents were to come across the floor plan of the house my grandparents built in 1960. I think they lived there for a little more than a decade. By the time I was … More Home

Marking Time

Thursday, 21 September, 3:30 PM The post was on Instagram: a gorgeous seaside photograph, the image drenched in sunset. A lone figure stood looking at the ocean, her back to the camera. The caption: “Goodbye, summer.” This was a month ago, maybe more. That time when college students return to campus, but nearly a month … More Marking Time

Words Over Coffee

His email arrived sometime in May, or maybe late April. An invitation. He’s a writer, a someday filmmaker, and he wanted to talk Art. I’ve known Joel since he was born, I guess. His family and ours go to the same church; his age falls just between that of Everett and Emma. I’m sure they … More Words Over Coffee

Field Day

It has always been the field at the bottom of our neighborhood, the backyard of the community pool. Earliest memory finds us there with baby William at his first Easter, eight months old and unable to walk and sitting in the sand that is the volleyball court. We were late for the egg hunt, but … More Field Day

Two Questions

The text had two questions, the first from the daughter, who is ten: “Are you related to Robert Louis Stevenson?” And the second from the mother, who is old enough to be a mother: “(The Daughter) is reciting her most favorite tomorrow… ‘The Swing.’ I’ve been coaching her to try to recite it without the … More Two Questions

Morning Drop-Off

I drove the girls to school on Thursday, a late-summer, light-filled morning. It was just the third week of school, day thirteen if we’re keeping count, which might not be a good idea.     The conversation en route was cheerful. Chatter about driver’s ed, gladness that it was already Thursday, and the painted parking … More Morning Drop-Off

Each One

There are a lot of ways to know people. There’s the Facebook kind of knowing, the Instagram kind. You know the names of their children, and their dogs. The seminal events, the proud moments, the way their cat curls over a sofa when it rains. Then there’s the pass-you-in-the-hallway, we-work-together kind. The kind you might chat … More Each One

Holidays

“You can’t really see the days. I mean, look at the days with your eyes.”                                                                   -Theo, age 4. 1 July 2015December 1990: For … More Holidays