Places Where Flowers Bloom: A Long Month

Tidal waves of raw emotion wash over me as I reach back into my memory and revisit our early days in this country. To be honest, a part of me doesn't want to tell the tales. Perhaps they'll disappear if I can just keep them locked away long enough. But I know it doesn't actually … Continue reading Places Where Flowers Bloom: A Long Month

Places Where Flowers Bloom: Meeting the Landlady

Introduction The melted snow in our yard left a mess of mud behind. Dead leaves, twigs, and apricot pits littered the ground. We were glad the snow was gone, but the brown death it had for so long covered was finally revealed. Then it began to rain. Puddles collected. The yard looked like chocolate soup. … Continue reading Places Where Flowers Bloom: Meeting the Landlady

Outlook’s Not Great

She had a big black mole on her cheek hugging her nose and was breastfeeding her newborn the entire time Laura was talking with her. They'd gone on a full two minutes before she asked Laura for money. She was from the south and spoke fast, and it was hard for Laura to understand her. … Continue reading Outlook’s Not Great

On Loving and Leaving and Getting Left Behind

The image of putting down roots is a beautiful one. The mightiest trees didn't appear overnight. Instead, day by day, they slowly sank their fibrous fingers down into the earth, drinking in the very essence of the soil in which they were planted, and converting that essence into a towering trunk, sprawling branches, wind-kissed leaves, … Continue reading On Loving and Leaving and Getting Left Behind

All The Things That Shouldn’t Be But Are

Bazaar workers shouldn't have to work all day long for peanuts. Their fingers, toes, and noses shouldn't freeze from the cold trapped in all the concrete and metal shipping containers that surround them. They shouldn't try to milk you for every last cent. Yet they do. A service called Drunk Taxiβ€”no jokeβ€”shouldn't be a thing. … Continue reading All The Things That Shouldn’t Be But Are

Our Fingers Didn’t Freeze and Break Into Little Pieces

This past weekend temperatures plunged to -15 degrees F (-25 degrees C). We turned our gas furnace up. Then we turned it up again. We got dressed and put our bathrobes back on. Our friends asked if we could reschedule the get-together we had planned for Sunday because of how cold it was and because … Continue reading Our Fingers Didn’t Freeze and Break Into Little Pieces

Just Across the Table

He wasn't sitting more than two feet away from me. The seats at the coffee shop were comfortable. My latte was within arm's reach. And all I could think was that the intelligent, likable, well-educated young man across the table from me was hurtling full speed toward the edge of a cliff with a blindfold … Continue reading Just Across the Table

Five Posts from Around the Web

Here are some articles and posts from around the web that have been especially insightful, encouraging, and challenging to me lately. I hope you enjoy them. Rachel Jones recounts a story from her life in Djibouti about the time a baby named God came to stay at her house. As she does, she reflects on … Continue reading Five Posts from Around the Web

Those Last Few Footsteps

Our front gate sounded like it was going to collapse beneath the pounding. The dogs howled. My blood pressure spiked. Now, who could that be? I grabbed the key to the gate, slid on some shoes, and ran down our front steps. The visitor persisted in pounding. "I'm coming," I yelled. I unlocked the door … Continue reading Those Last Few Footsteps

Almost But Not Quite

It's that feeling you have when you're sitting on your couch looking at your Christmas tree and realize that only every other light is working. (After you spent all that time spacing the strands just right.) It's that feeling you have when you get new glasses and a week later scratch the right lens with … Continue reading Almost But Not Quite