Season Shift

There’s smoke in the sky. Wildfires on all sides, it seems. The air is filling with ash, tinting the sun sets a beautiful weird orange. In preparation for the Christmas calendar that I make every year for the family, I sorted through digital photos, effectively reliving a year’s worth of memories: my kids playing in the snow, a beach birthday for my dad at Jetty Island,…

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What I’m Going to Miss…

I can see it coming, and yet I can’t see it at the same time: that moment when Covid lockdown finally lifts, fully and completely. Maybe that upcoming lifestyle won’t resemble the “old normal,” but the clinging fear and timidity and obsession over clean surfaces and safe-to-breathe air will have settled into something that doesn’t raise my blood pressure…as life after lockdown begins again. Yesterday my…

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Gratitude and SuperStars

“Honey, is there anything else I can do for you?” My miserable six-year-old looked at me with tears in his eyes. “Snuggle me.” The morning had begun with an announcement from my kiddo that his tummy didn’t feel good. For the next five hours, we attempted a semblance of our regular morning schedule, punctuated about ten times with rushing-to-the-bathroom episodes. This may be the sickest my…

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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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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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She Grows Up (and I Write Her a Letter)

My sister was born in the beginning of summer and named after the feminine form of the god of war. She lived up to her fiery namesake and was a fierce little wildcat in her younger years. Later, she poured her passionate dreams into her artwork. I've watched her blow glass fearlessly, sculpt clay into dramatic forms, sketch a story in paint across a canvas and,…

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One of the Siblings

Anyone who’s ever gotten married and spent a major family holiday with the in-laws knows that it can be awkward at first. No amount of love and welcome can make the different traditions and communication styles feel effortless to the “stranger." And by this, I mean the one who is only included because of their spouse, not because of a lifetime of memories and shared blood.…

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