On Envy

Note: This post was first published on December 17, 2005, back when our church still had an orchestra.┬áBecause of conversations and thoughts I’ve had of late, I thought it was time to post it again. I have revised it a little, but only a little. Note 2: Not long after I posted this, my parents … More On Envy


This morning, after days of cloudless blue, our sky was overcast. But it was warm again, and through open doors and windows, I could hear the blue-jays cry. I don’t hear the jays every day. At our feeder we get chickadees and finches, a nuthatch, and a small brown bird with a dart of white … More Blue-Jays

The Color Green

This blog post is a gift to my mother, whose birthday was April 21st. And in loving memory of my grandmother, Grace Everett, whose birthday was the 27th. The field guides were kept in the dining room. Not obtrusively on the kitchen table or counter, but just around the corner, accessible to a quick eye … More The Color Green

After the Party

It was a whirlwind. It was a weekend that started on a Wednesday. It was my birthday, and the 24th anniversary of our 1st date, and a visit from my parents. It was meals at favorite restaurants, and being sung the Happy Birthday song, and a new coat. It was homemade potato chips with gorgonzola … More After the Party

Counting On It

It’s a week now that we’ve been back at school, and I’ve never been so efficient in my life. Last week, while I was teaching my Winterim course and working on grading those pesky exams (the ones I gave before Christmas break, the ones I didn’t really want to grade during Christmas break, the ones … More Counting On It

September 11, 1938

Today is my father’s birthday. I would post some pictures, but the computer on which we store them isn’t quite cooperating with us these days. I would write some tales– and rest assured, I have many– but my state of mind isn’t ready to unfold something worthy of the auspiciousness of this occasion. Alas, these … More September 11, 1938


I learned to like coffee cold and black when I was about three years old, or maybe two. That’s when I was old enough to reach up and take hold of my mother’s coffee mug– the mug she had left on the windowsill or the counter or the piano, preoccupied with Other Things while her … More Visit

On Leaving

1126 Carroll Lane, Hermitage, PAThe Stevenson-Boland HouseAugust 1983-August 2007 It’s easy to miss the driveway at 1126. Unlike all the other houses in the neighborhood, whose short driveways lead to houses not far from the street, the house at 1126 is invisible from the road. The driveway sits close to a neighboring driveway on one … More On Leaving


Most days are seamless as water. Weeks, months– these things flow into one another like so many overlapping bays. We have no river mouth, no branching tributary to mark our place. We drift on the current unaware, and then suddenly find ourselves looking for landmarks in a place devoid of any landscape at all: “Did … More Remembering