It’s Okay to Ask

Time spent teaching is never lost. I spent an hour in a 9th grade classroom yesterday. The first time in nearly five years. This was at a public school, Durham School of the Arts downtown. The place where my daughter now spends her days, where my middle son used to spend his. And we’ve lived … More It’s Okay to Ask

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


I feel as if I’ve done a lot of traveling lately. It’s that time of year, right? Summer vacation. We’re gone, we’re here, we’re gone again. Definitely not complaining. I love to travel. But lately it’s got me thinking about how I pack. Like most people (everyone?), I’m guessing I have the normal categories: clothes, … More Carry-On

Of Poets and Poetry

“‘Does anyone ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?’‘Saints and poets, maybe, they do some.’”—Thornton Wilder, Our Town Seamus Heaney died last Friday. He was only 74– a bit young, in my opinion, in this late age, to shuffle off this mortal coil. His death is our loss entirely. I don’t know … More Of Poets and Poetry

Difficult Balance

I attended our church’s women’s retreat this weekend. It was a beautiful time: so many women I know– and many others I don’t– gathered to enjoy one another, to learn more about our God, to rest from the pull of our daily lives. I remember going on youth group retreats when I was a teenager. … More Difficult Balance

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


I like letters. The shapes of them. The contrast between lower and upper case. The dots for the “i” and “j,” crossing “t’s.” I like writing very small. I like putting more than one line of text inside one line of college-ruled paper. I like college-ruled paper. I like a good pen. Not a fancy … More August