Sunday Almanac: Life’s Been Pretty Good Lately

But it has been a bad season for pollen, even the locals say so. And even though we’re now locals too, we’re still too green (or yellow, as the case may be) to know what qualifies as “bad” for spring pollen in coastal North Carolina. Evidently this does. Our new home has a screened porch adjacent to the open interior living space on the first … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Life’s Been Pretty Good Lately

Afternoon Miniature 3.12.23

Every elementary school in this metropolis reeked by May of stale lunch, chewed-up pencils, and a fatigue that hung heavily, everywhere; on the staff it also betrayed itself in their careworn expressions. The dismissal queue came a little earlier every day while teachers crowed deadline reminders over the din of desks jostled out of place, casualties of children headed for the door with an urgency … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 3.12.23

Reflection: Effective Communication Is Worth Its Weight in Gold

Or dog poop, take your pick. Preamble It is Friday at 2:00 am, and I sense a furry critter bedside staring me down, standing where he normally does not. Scoutie, what is going on? He paces over to our bedroom door and peers out into the living room. I can tell his brow is wrinkled from the forward position of his ears, like maybe he … Continue reading Reflection: Effective Communication Is Worth Its Weight in Gold

Afternoon Miniature 1.8.23

Constance was not as old-fashioned as her name and in fact the suggestion of youth lingered in her face and hair still, surprisingly, for her age. The woman staring back at her in the bathroom mirror was attractive enough, she reassured herself. Lately, though, she had put on some weight, not too much, but enough to make her tug at her clothing all day unless … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 1.8.23

Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake Christmas Trees

We finally did it, gentle reader, bought our first (and last?) artificial Christmas tree. There she stands at an impressive nine-point-five feet, all aglow with baked-in lights, and strewn with garland and all our favorite ornaments. Right off the bat, let me just say we miss that fragrance, you know the one. Thus far we’ve tried burning a scented candle to compensate, but because we … Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake Christmas Trees

Afternoon Miniature 10.9.22

There was so much to do yet, too much. Every corner needed swept, every cobweb dusted away. But first all the drapes had to come down and be washed of an entire year’s worth of soot; once clean, they’d flap cheerfully in the wind on the clothes line at the side of the house; a passerby might observe the gauzy sheers cavorting with loud florals … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 10.9.22

Almanac: Labor Day 2022

Well, the sun’s not so hot in the sky today and you know I can see summertime slipping on away. James Taylor, September Grass Another birthday week has come and gone with relatively little fanfare (although it was a significant year for one of us), but it included plenty of inspired cuisine as always. The Chef has returned to pastry, not professionally yet in this … Continue reading Almanac: Labor Day 2022

Family Reflection: Bastard Son of a Woman Named Minnie

You probably got it from Granddaddy Eddie, mom opined over the phone. It doesn’t matter, I have it and now I’ll deal with it, I returned. High blood pressure. Maybe it runs in the family, maybe not, who knows. My doctor put me on some meds, told me to shed a few pounds, and then asked me to check in with her again in a … Continue reading Family Reflection: Bastard Son of a Woman Named Minnie

Sunday Almanac: Distractions for Weeks

Art has something to do with the arrest of attention in the midst of distraction. —George Plimpton And what is writing after all, but art. Betcha Mr. Plimpton’s right. It’s as plausible an explanation as any for my utter unwillingness to sit down on a Sunday and put pen to paper, as I’m wont to do most Sundays: distractions. Just ask any self-respecting dog about … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Distractions for Weeks

Afternoon Miniature 5.30.22

It takes time for the world to teach a child to discriminate, for better or for worse. And so it never dawned on this child, at the tender age of six, that she should not fraternize with her young peer in the adjacent house, where cars perched like relics atop cinder blocks out front and in the drive, where the dallisgrass sent feathery shoots up … Continue reading Afternoon Miniature 5.30.22