Maybe it was a snowy owl

Where we live, there’s always the rumors of snowy owls coming down from the North Pole this time of year. The young ones learn to be good hunters in Michigan, looking for mammals in wide stretches of snowy open spaces. The nature center a few miles away posted one’s in the neighborhood; my neighbor said last Read more about Maybe it was a snowy owl[…]

Living the same old stories

“Sometimes at night I practice telling Michael,” her elephant, “about Jesus’ best stories so I can remember to tell them to my six boys when I grow up.” “Oh yeah? Those are some good stories to practice,” I say. We were dancing in the dark, twirling under new glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling. “Which one’s Read more about Living the same old stories[…]

Stories leave a trail a hop-length apart for us

“Perhaps the real reason that we tell stories again and again—and endlessly praise our greatest storytellers—is because humans want to be a part of a shared history.” “The Psychological Comforts of Storytelling,” The Atlantic I talked with a guy at a nursing home last week, holding the hand of his “bride,” he called her, of 54 years. She sat Read more about Stories leave a trail a hop-length apart for us[…]

Sharing life at home, and what that means

Sharing life — isn’t that the funniest phrase, if you dissect it? When the first few people (all church people; I’m not sure I’ve heard it outside that context) used that phrase with me, it stuck like an oddball thing to say: “Sharing life.” To share life means meals and chores or errands; possessions, maybe Read more about Sharing life at home, and what that means[…]

As children are people, so are parents. Even dads.

Dave used to want to be a war photographer. Sept. 11, 2001, was early in our college careers, and he thought he’d be embedded over in Afghanistan, taking photographs. Can you see how I fell for him in college? I’d been dating a perfectly safe engineering student when this artist, this journalist came along. This Read more about As children are people, so are parents. Even dads.[…]

Living education notes for my February file

We drove to the retreat, Dave and I, from Michigan to Ohio (where Mom watched the girls); then Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin to Minnesota. I read Willa Cather and we had the windows down on the county highways; my hair was blowing and Noah Gundersen was singing. You should’ve been there. Along the way, I spotted staghorn sumacs, Read more about Living education notes for my February file[…]

‘The family is, practically, a commune’

“Wagner says, in his most beautiful opera, that art is only a way of remembering youth. And the older we grow the more precious it seems to us, and the more richly we can present that memory. When we’ve got it all out, — the last, the finest thrill of it, the brightest hope of Read more about ‘The family is, practically, a commune’[…]