Ephemeral Magic: A Christmas Reflection

The dog needs bathing and his hair is all over the bed, the human bed, whose sheets need changing and the rest of the bedding washed. But there is also baking to do, gifts to wrap, packages to ship, a tree to be gotten, and Christmas decorations to haul out. And there are bills to pay, checkbooks to balance, laundry to fold, and all the … Continue reading Ephemeral Magic: A Christmas Reflection

Sunday Almanac: Thanksgiving 2021

…in which I bake my first pie. It’s true, gentle reader: I’ve made it this far in my life, which is to say a certain number of decades, without ever having baked a pie. The Chef pointed out a pie crust is not so far removed from the biscuits I bake every single weekend. Huh. I decided Thanksgiving was as good a time as any … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Thanksgiving 2021

Food Should Have Food in It: A Culinary Reflection

Why do you eat that stuff? There’s no food in your food. —Joan Cusack as Constance Dobler in Say Anything The Chef and I recently caught the tail end of an infomercial on the telly touting the miracles of a small kitchen appliance made to take the place of no fewer than ten other small appliances, trumpeted the announcer. It looked like cheap crap from … Continue reading Food Should Have Food in It: A Culinary Reflection

Afternoon Miniature 11.7.21

Everything about the dark interior of this modest rancher suggested it might have been kempt in a recent chapter, but what light he allowed inside it now shone on a jumble of objects fallen to neglect. At this moment a sunbeam shot through a slice in the kitchen curtains and found his eye, prompting him to shield it with one gnarled hand while he yanked … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 11.7.21

Sunday Almanac: Late October at the Seashore

Vermont’s Green Mountains are jaw-dropping, worthy of their moniker, and at times can even make your breath catch in your throat. They can also make you yearn for wide, open spaces, especially when you live on the eastern-facing slopes of a particular mountain which has the audacity to blot out the late-day sunlight long before you’re ready for it. So now, here we are, in … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Late October at the Seashore

The Mnemonic Power of Music

mnemonic adjective mne·​mon·​ic | \ ni-ˈmä-nik  \ Definition of mnemonic 1: assisting or intended to assist memory //To distinguish “principal” from “principle” use the mnemonic aid “the principal is your pal.” also : of or relating to mnemonics 2: of or relating to memory //mnemonic skill —Merriam-Webster We all used them in school, mnemonics, and they can surely be helpful, like this one from way back when I was a young undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee: … Continue reading The Mnemonic Power of Music

Sunday Almanac: First Hint of Fall

It’s not just the chill in the air, but something a bit more elusive, the angle of the sun in the east and the fragrance of drying foliage borne aloft by the wind, maybe. Whatever it is, I sensed it this morning when I took Scout-the-Goldapeake-Retriever outside for his first pee of the day. Here we are, feeling more and more settled in our comfortable … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: First Hint of Fall

Sink or Swim: A Timely Ethos

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed. —Charles Darwin When I arrived in Vermont’s Upper Valley in August of 2012, the days were still hot and the foliage green, with no signs yet of what would come, along about November. “Winters are long here,” advised the technician installing my new phone … Continue reading Sink or Swim: A Timely Ethos

Afternoon Miniature 10.3.21

The pair sat there on the thick carpet cross-legged, knees touching knees, wearing seersucker outfits that tied at the shoulder and came trimmed in rickrack. Playsuits, their mothers called them. Midday sunshine filtered through foliage in a large tree just beyond the room’s only window, so that there was no need to switch on a lamp or the overhead light. But the room felt shadowy … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 10.3.21