20 things I could tell you.

There are probably a hundred or more things I could tell you, right now, right this minute, were it not for the haze of weekend-away-in-an-un-air-conditioned-cabin-sleeping-on-a-top-bunk fatigue. I could start by telling you: how one of our dogs beat the tip end of his tail to a bloody pulp while we were out of town because…

Life begins at 50.

The third thing she told me was that life begins at 50. She said this just to me, out of earshot from my traveling companion, as she was tucking me back into the driver’s seat, right before she said, “I love you,” which is what she always said at the end. We had been together…

Labor days.

It is Labor Day weekend, summer’s last hurrah. It’s the weekend many parents, mostly mothers, heave a sigh of relief. We made it. As Motherlode’s KJ Dell’Antonia wrote back in June, the 104 days of summer vacation are a nightmare for working parents, particularly those with no extended family willing or able to help. It’s…

Big Don and the vagabond days.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, for a very short time, I lived in Jackson, Wyoming. I was a squatter, a gypsy, camped out in my little sister’s basement on a futon with a wooden wine crate for a bedside table, just like in college. Only I was 30 years old, still clinging…

A rose for the boy in Aleppo.

The first hint that something was wrong came from a friend’s Facebook post, sharing another friend’s status. The gist of the post was this: A splinter group had broken through the security blocks that prohibited web traffic, and they wanted to world to know that terrible things were happening and being hidden, covered up. “People…

On birthdays, Facebook and #FirstSevenJobs

It’s a conspiracy, you know, the whole birthday thing. A long, long time ago Egyptians celebrated the anniversary date marking when the Pharaoh became Pharaoh, transforming from him a man into a deity. Pharaoh was the only one who got a party, and the party wasn’t on the day he was actually popped out of…

Inhale, exhale.

If there is a dish more emblematic of my cooking story than cheese soufflĂ©, I can’t think what it would be. By now you’ve heard this tale, or bits of it, many times: my mother, who trained herself first by watching and later by reading, trained me to cook by virtue of the fact that…

Letters from camp.

From the moment we master basic locomotive skills, we humans begin to pursue our independence and separate from our parents. It is as natural and ordinary and miraculous a process as any other in the animal kingdom – which is not to say that it is easy, for either child or parent. No matter how…