Sparta and the Quik Trip

I am home earlier than intended. A blizzard was predicted (and it appeared, right on schedule) for parts of eastern SD and all across southern Minnesota for today, the main travel day for most of us.  Reliable weather watchers recommended an early departure, so I changed my ticket to an early flight yesterday, and my…

Traveler (Hubris)

Like Odysseus, we really just wanted to get back to our hometown. My sister and I picked up her husband and we left their Oak Park home at 6:40 pm – not optimal time to begin a westward journey through parts of four states, but my sister and her husband drive through the night more…

Mom

My mother died early this morning. As my sister describes it, it’s been like walking off a cliff. Mom was with us over Christmas. She had a great Christmas, helping make cookies, eating penuche fudge, seeing her grandchildren. We had no idea that this was what the new year would bring. Here is what I…

Sad Times

This past weekend, our dog Arizona let us know that he was ready to die. He had been with us for 17 years. He spent his last days with us enjoying scritches, treats, and much love. In his last months he looked like a wolf in a Disney movie – rangy and lupine. Favorite Arizona…

Snow, as benediction

It snowed on Saturday. I woke to the quiet that snow provides, sounds that are normal parts of a Saturday morning are muffled by the blanket of wet snow. And it was perfect snowball snow. But the snowballs would have to wait.  My eighth graders had to take the Explore test, a pre-pre ACT that…

Untangled

I’m trying to unpack this metaphor. We had another amazing Thanksgiving with 28 at the tables (three – all in the dining room) on Thursday and 25 at my sister’s on Friday. I have the most amazing extended family that a woman could ask for. On Sunday my uncle’s flight back to South Dakota was…

Mandolines and Mandolins

Sunday we celebrated what I would argue was the last day of summery fall.  The threatened rain held off and the day was golden, crisp and cool. I went to the garden to dump the kitchen compost bucket and realized that it had been a while since I had been out there.  The second planting…

Everybody’s Got A Hungry Heart

We feed so many good things in our lives: minds souls hearts bodies spirits And so many negative things: hatred resentment anger sadness This was an eventful week. I participated in the feeding of so many aspects of my world, and I hope the positive energy outweighs the negative that swirls around us. My girls…

You Never Can Tell With Bees…

When I prepared to spend the week at Mansfield College talking about Shakespeare in history, I hadn’t really thought too much about Edward Bear, also known as Winnie the Pooh. I love Pooh. The A. A. Milne stories have been favorites of mine as a child, as a parent and as a teacher. Milne’s poetry…

Arizona

I have to write this blog post now because very soon I won’t be able to. My old dog, Arizona, is old. Seventeen years, six months old – best estimate.  I would say that he is approaching his end days, and the closer it gets, the harder this will be to write. We met Arizona…

Didn’t I?

I’ve been in the house by myself more often in the last two weeks, and this allows me to approach the CD player without fear of being Melodyned to death and to listen to music that I want to listen to without offending my spouse’s sensitive ears and sensibilities. It most importantly allows me  to…

Never-Dull

“Oh my god, what is that smell?” That was what my daughter said when she came into the kitchen. I had just put away the Never-Dull.  My favorite Japanese garden shears had rust spots, so I had spent a bit of time rubbing the spots out. And the smell of the Never-Dull brought back memories….