Category Archives: Family matters

A few things: November 2017

An actual family dinner conversation: SON:  [to MOM] “So, why’d you move all that stuff and mess up the big room?” MOM: “I need more space for my art and sewing and things. Maybe I’ll have people over, teach a class; who knows? I might even teach you to sew, so you can sew a…

Sex, death, and middle age.

“I know you said you don’t want any of this, but I think you’ll actually want one thing,” he said, dropping some folded papers on the kitchen table.

It was a letter, five pages in long-hand, from my mother to my father, a few months before they married. When we had gathered the belongings from my mother’s garage years ago, the letter must have slipped from a box into an adjacent pile.

Sorry, the number you’ve dialed has been disconnected.

We rose before dawn, in the dead of winter, when the only light was the moon’s reflection on the Nebraska snow. We lived in a small, four-room guesthouse – a generous term, as the “guesthouse” was a two-story garage, the top half converted into living quarters: two bedrooms, each barely big enough for a bed,…

Solstice.

Now here we are at summer’s sun-stand, the long solstice (in the northern hemisphere, anyway) of June, fruit of a cycle born six months ago at the onset of winter. It’s still an anything-can-happen era with a why-the-hell-not vibe. It’s the time to ask, again: If not now, then when?

The good earth.

The impetus for the experiment was a note from my friend Frank, who will be surprised, I suspect, by this news, mostly because he sent the note more than two years ago, but also because he will be generally surprised (though, I hope, not annoyed) to find himself mentioned here. Frank lives mostly on the…

The comfort of familiar things.

I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo. If we know each other, in real life, then this revelation may be shocking. If we know each other very well, though, then it’s possibly not unexpected. I have been thinking about it, a tattoo, though not terribly seriously, for longer than I’ll admit, even here. Tattoos, like…

On birds, and letters, and opera.

The letter, were I to write it, might open this way: What a year this has been, right from the start… In January we had the craziest weather. One weekend it snowed; the next it was sunny and 70 degrees. Almost every night ended with an outrageously vibrant, pink sunset. Inside the confines of our…