Category: family

the marvelous mundane – part two

the marvelous mundane – part two

| December 12, 2015 | Reply

First, a fun fact. It’s unlikely that anyone remembers this, but the last time I wrote a blog with “part one” in the title, I never wrote a part two. (Don’t let it keep you up at night: I feel confident that “restoration – part two” will want to be written someday.) Now, a moment of self-congratulation. Woo-hoo! This time […]

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candle or no candle

candle or no candle

| November 27, 2015 | Reply

I woke very early and eased my body out of bed.  The attic floorboards creaked beneath my careful feet. David slept soundly in the imperfect silence. The darkness of morning usually comforts me, but today uncertainty lay at the surface of my heart like scum on a lake. In several hours we’d be on a plane, headed toward our beloved family in crisis. We […]

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braiding my mother’s hair

braiding my mother’s hair

| November 4, 2015 | 4 Replies

Late on a Saturday morning I take my mother’s hair between my fingers and begin to braid. Mom doesn’t like it when hair falls into her eyes, and rotator cuff surgery has nixed her usual styling strategies. This turns out to be the number one thing I do to help when I visit: hair styling. Why do […]

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thank you, Tony Hoagland

thank you, Tony Hoagland

| July 26, 2015 | 4 Replies

I am standing in the doorway when I read Tony Hoagland’s poem. David and our niece and nephew are playing with toy cars and trucks and planes, and I’m about to join them. Jack sings gleefully to the tune of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man: “I am orange plane, orange-orange-orange, whack-whack-whack!” I didn’t expect Hoagland’s words to hallow […]

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restoration: part one

restoration: part one

| August 16, 2014 | 3 Replies

In May of 2013, I unwittingly lost a glove from my bike basket on my ride to yoga class. When I discovered my loss, I stood in the yoga studio holding the lonely leftie, thinking how good and serviceable those gloves had been over many years. One glove was little use without the other. On my […]

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first year

first year

| July 5, 2014 | 6 Replies

One year ago, on a warm July morning, I woke up incredibly early to walk the beach. A few hours later I arrived in Rowley, Massachusetts, where a houseful of beloved women bustled. My mom and aunt Lisa sat on the couch finishing my sash while the rest of us put on make-up and jewelry. Soon I […]

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the inconvenient day

the inconvenient day

| June 7, 2014 | 1 Reply

Inconvenience is an invitation into the present moment. Some days I need to be invited repeatedly. The first time I took the laundry into the elevator on Thursday, I’d forgotten the bag of quarters. The second time, I found the washer in the 6th floor laundry room occupied, so I headed to the basement. In the basement I realized I […]

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another (brief) lesson in surrender

another (brief) lesson in surrender

| May 29, 2014 | 2 Replies

I have an hour till David comes home with our niece and nephew. An hour to clean up from lunch and water the plants and type the emails and make the phone call and maybe – just maybe – write the overdue blog entry. I love the way Ally and Jack take over our lives when we’re together. […]

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after the burning

after the burning

| May 6, 2014 | Reply

Here’s the guest post I wrote for my friend Catherine’s blog: some of the gifts of this challenging year in Wichita. http://catherineannehawkins.com/hannahs-in-between-guest-post/ Special thanks to James Nedresky for permission to use this photograph. Find many other breathtaking images of the prairies at his websites: http://www.jnedreskyprairie.com http://blog.jamesnedresky.com/?p=138

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my hands are dying

my hands are dying

| April 28, 2014 | 2 Replies

The luminous Catherine Hawkins was one of my husband David’s childhood friends. Catherine and I became close in the spring of 2012, when I sweet-talked her into a lead role in Hot Mikado. We’re guest blogging for each other this week. After you read her beautiful essay below, check out her blog! **** And for […]

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on mothers, hungers, and toast

on mothers, hungers, and toast

| April 1, 2014 | 8 Replies

When I get home from the airport, I’m hungry. I make a piece of toast and slather it with coconut oil, the way Mama does nowadays. I put it on the blue plate she left on the kitchen counter and sit in her spot on the couch. It’s my spot again. For days I’ve cooked […]

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in the game

in the game

| February 18, 2014 | Reply

We play dozens of games when we get together with Joy and the kids. We play Mario in our jammies; we pull out cribbage once Ally and Jack go to bed. If we’re lucky enough to have extra grown-ups on hand we play banana rummy and up & down the river. Splat is one of […]

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from bulb to blossom

from bulb to blossom

| January 21, 2014 | 3 Replies

The paperwhites are in full bloom the morning I learn that Grandma has died. Before I turn on my phone and see the message, I happen to write in my journal about a conversation we had last month. She said to keep the bulbs after they bloom and use them again next year. Grandma has […]

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Wyoming Santa

Wyoming Santa

| December 31, 2013 | 5 Replies

It started with the Wyoming Santa. A brief, typed note and two gift cards from a postal box in Gillette. We looked at each other in consternation. Who do we know in Wyoming? And how do they know that David likes Starbucks and I like Cold Stone Creamery? We surveyed our parents, who proved themselves […]

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2013 Thanksgiving newsletter

2013 Thanksgiving newsletter

| December 2, 2013 | 10 Replies

It’s the second morning of December. True to form, I started a Thanksgiving newsletter before Thanksgiving but didn’t finish it in time. I’ve cherished grand ambitions about the scope and detail of the letter, but today I want to write something short and sweet. Today I want to write about the Christmas cactus in bloom, […]

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Thanksgiving morning

Thanksgiving morning

| November 28, 2013 | 1 Reply

Thanksgiving morning. We wake to a text from Mom, who misses me. Next comes toast in the hotel lobby with David and his dad Mark. They head off to a flag football game and I add hot water to my tea cup. Blue skies and a mountain view from the hotel room.   I iron […]

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the winds of homecoming

the winds of homecoming

| November 22, 2013 | 3 Replies

Ah, not to be cut off, not through the slightest partition shut out from the law of the stars. The inner — what is it? if not intensified sky, hurled through with birds and deep with the winds of homecoming. (Rainer Maria Rilke) I fly above the broad waistline of the country on my way […]

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Wichitastic

Wichitastic

| November 6, 2013 | 9 Replies

It’s a rainy morning in Wichita. Most of the colored leaves in the courtyard below our apartment still cling to their branches. The flags whip whirling music against the flagpoles. The cat sleeps, the light is soft, and a new month has begun. For several years I spent the month of November writing daily thank […]

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while waiting

while waiting

| October 15, 2013 | 3 Replies

It started July 26th at 11:30 p.m. on I-40, 3.1 miles from our exit in Brownsville, Tennessee. We were planning what we’d do when we arrived at the motel. I’d check in at the front desk; David would coax Gus into his cage and gather what we needed for the night. We’d driven 15 hours, […]

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just so

just so

| September 13, 2013 | 4 Replies

Ben, Joy, Ally and Jack will be here in less than three hours, but I’m sitting down in my untidy bedroom to write a blog entry. Uncompleted tasks sun themselves on the desk. In the living room the fan hums loudly, drying the last of the laundry. I’ve barely begun the paper crane mobile. How […]

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dear Quentin

dear Quentin

| August 12, 2013 | 21 Replies

Dear Quentin, Happy August! I miss your songs and stories. Remember how we used to find luminous, common things on the playground at recess? I will always remember that. You are one of the best people I know at finding luminous, common things. I’m happy that you and your mom e-mailed me. You asked, “What […]

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the Sun and the shower

the Sun and the shower

| June 10, 2013 | 5 Replies

I woke early Sunday morning, wearied by the ludicrous night visions only a bride-to-be must endure. A shower rinsed off the outermost layer of fretfulness. Mom was still sleeping, so I took myself to the beach, aching for the cleansing only salt water can afford. A year ago I was at Rowe Conference Center, soaking […]

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all the colors

all the colors

| May 24, 2013 | 12 Replies

Weddings mean flowers, right? I’m sure most summer brides have already ordered their bouquets, but that item is still languishing on my to-do list. My focus for the moment is on a different variety of flower. Being a glutton for connection, I’m inviting a host of women I love to contribute a flower to my wedding […]

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the Monday after

the Monday after

| April 22, 2013 | 5 Replies

Last Monday morning I planned to write about Vespa the dog. While my friends the Worsfolds take their customary April trip, I inhabit their home and spoil their Italian spinone with long, meandering walks. The tradition began five years ago, just two weeks after I’d told my husband I wanted a divorce. The realities of […]

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in praise of all things sweet

in praise of all things sweet

| April 5, 2013 | 2 Replies

Blessed be the first bite of birthday cake. Hallowed be that moment, long before the gears of memory began to turn, when I learned that Sweet could eclipse mashed pears and mother’s milk. Did I learn the way Lydia did, encircled by family, smearing frosting on my flawless face? No matter. Blessed be that day. […]

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new and not-so-new

new and not-so-new

| December 31, 2012 | 1 Reply

On the train home to Boston yesterday I gazed out the window at the new fallen snow. Celebrating my birthday with my family in Philadelphia had gladdened and wearied me in equal measure. Holiday hubbub provides little space for the solitude that keeps me sane, so I was counting on Amtrak for restoration. I turned my […]

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if this isn’t nice, i don’t know what is

if this isn’t nice, i don’t know what is

| December 25, 2012 | 3 Replies

Lately my heart has felt near to splitting its seams. It’s partly because this is my first Christmas far from my family. It’s also the Newtown tragedy, and the polar ice caps melting, and the slowly subsiding pain in my body. Lately the world’s immeasurable sadness has been crowding the margins of my neat little […]

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in pain’s classroom

in pain’s classroom

| December 8, 2012 | 8 Replies

The month of November was shrouded in misery. Did teaching feel impossible because I was sick all month or was I sick all month because teaching felt impossible? There were three consecutive colds (well, it might have been one long cold with two brief intermissions). My hips were sliding out of place every couple weeks. […]

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a lesson from Lydia

a lesson from Lydia

| October 29, 2012 | 4 Replies

This weekend I visited my family in Pennsylvania. I went down to see a CD release concert by Constant Recourse, Ben and Jess’s band. I went down to see their daughter Lydia, whose presence I’ve pined after since July. I went down for family dinners and walks with Mom. I went down to admire Dad’s […]

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when Mom came to visit

when Mom came to visit

| October 11, 2012 | 3 Replies

When Mom came to visit we walked to the beach and stared at the waves. We spoke of mundane matters: an old friend who got married, Facebook photos. We ate frozen yogurt for dinner and pizza for dessert. When Mom came to visit we took turns on my heating pad. We’d both just been to […]

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