Perspective

Lake Kachess, WA Pebbles grind beneath my shoes on a rocky beach overlooking the blue-green waters of Lake Kachess. The clouds are clean white and bunched, like someone pushed them together to bulk up their size, then puffed them up using a straw. One cloud strongly resembles a charging elephant—how long has it been since I looked for shapes in the clouds, and for only my…

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See the Snow

We’re in the midst of our first Seattle snow of the year. My five-year-old son’s near-constant prayer since before Christmas has been a request for snow. When the first flakes fell, he was pulling on his shoes “Just to lick it.” He had his dream come true: He bundled up, went out to our cul-de-sac and threw snow with the neighbor kids, made snow angels, rolled…

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Grace Note

This year has sparkled with good things--I don't say this flippantly. I truly sleep without interruption most nights. My children are 75% potty-trained, as a whole. Our house projects are minor and not choking us every weekend. Homeschooling is good--full of challenges, discoveries, walls and breakthroughs. James and I are close--we laugh together, plan our strategies, share our fears, encourage each other. My 2018 New Year's…

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Song of Belfair

I sing the song of Belfair Of village-towns with foreign names. Curve them on your tongue, hold them in your throat. Kfarhata, Beirut, Seattle   Belfair with its salty channels Crab pots, oyster shells that glisten Yellow-twine rope swing dangles from the balcony Grandaughter's Christmas tree stands in the basement Sturdy treehouse of round-branch walls Gazes on the wildflower bed You made them for me.  …

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The School Years

As I lay down my pen at the end of a new short story draft, I again have to acknowledge my strong affinity for mother-son themes. This makes me think of my own son, my eldest, who seems to hunger near-constantly for time one-on-one with me. He lost a great quantity of mommy-and-me time after his sister was born. Now they both fight for me. It's…

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Summer Churning

Elise, what have you been up to? Where shall I start? It's officially summer, so my garden and I have been racing each other to see who can weed/grow weeds the fastest. Ha. It's no contest. I lose. But the flowers are gorgeous and I keep picking these bouquets that knock my socks off! Seattle friends--I'll make you a pretty posy is you want to stop…

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Pushing On/Pushing Back

In my twenties, running as fast and hard as I could seemed like the best way to ensure I was climbing my ambition in the right direction. But now, more than ten years past my college graduation...I'm seriously assessing the cost of such behavior and asking myself, What do I pay for in mental fragility, depletion of emotional reserves, temper with my kids, and closeness with…

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Take Care

Having the second baby has made me slow down. A lot. My new normal has squeezed me toward ultra-focused sessions of writing and drafting in the afternoon and a running list of priorities that I update daily. My household chores have been broken down into a monthly and weekly rotation. I prep my dinners on one particular afternoon a week, and I plan-plan-plan so that the important…

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Wholehearted

Hey there. Sorry I haven't kept in touch. My excuse is seven weeks old and, in this mama's star-struck eyes, she's absolutely perfect. She arrived on a November morning a few weeks before Thanksgiving. I can't stop feeling thankful for her. She's all I wanted for Christmas this year. A friend mailed me a little box with a bracelet in it for me and a pair…

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Director’s Choice or My Worst Theater Experience

My mother always told me there’s a 90/10 rule to theater: 90% of it is unimpressive, mediocre, and even terrible. The other 10% is so breathtaking in its emotional depth and scope, it compels us to once again brave the tepid hodgepodge 90% in hopes of discovering the next precious gem. I’ve seen my fair share of stunning shows. Bright Star, currently new-to-Broadway, is fantastic. Brooklyn…

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