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Eight Dollars and Change

She did everything the doctor said but lock the upstairs window. She knew that letting the boy sneak in each night made her whole life his prey, but the things he stole kept them connected, mother and son, one leaving one taking.

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This Life Next Life

Our place on Lake Superior is home to many creatures, some of them dead. One early spring, we came across a deer’s head lying on the beach. In the dead of winter, we’ve watched a fox and a coyote play hide and seek in the rising ice dunes. At the end of one long-ago summer, after eating…

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The 4:00 A.M. Breakfast Club

The light was on in the kitchen and then the small light in the dining room. I saw my daughter setting out a placemat, a bowl and a spoon, a box of corn flakes. Of course, a box of corn flakes. She always ate corn flakes growing up. “You have to get up, Mom. We…

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I’m Berry Well, Thank You, and You?

A key thing about being a regular blogger is sometimes not giving a shit if anyone reads what you write. That’s my number one message tonight. My second message has to do with blueberries. Specifically, disabusing people of the notion that picking wild blueberries is a glamorous or frivolous endeavor. In the movies, when glamorous people…

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My Dog Jak

It can be years, many years, a decade or more, and a person can still miss her dog. My dog, Jak, my big, beautiful, thick, smiling Jak. Jak, the dog who circled his own wagons, curled up in the snow, and fell calmly asleep until the people in the house realized the next morning that he had been left outside in deep winter the entire night. He stood up and shook off the snow, wagged his tail and came to the door. Nothing about him held resentment or memory. He was a smiling Samoyed. He just lived and smiled and sauntered along as if he was the finest creature on the…

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Talking to My Son in the Car Might Get Us Killed

It flashed on me today while I was zooming down the freeway sandwiched between a very large truck carrying what looked like a giant metal outhouse held down by a dozen canvas straps and a concrete construction wall that if I turned my head one more time to read my son’s lips while he was telling me how a passenger on the Lake Michigan ferry that he works on tried to convince him to look into being Amish that the price of comprehension could be extreme. It would end up being the last crazy story he ever told and I ever heard. A good one, though. Who knew that Amish…

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Keep It Moving

Why do people blog? I don’t know why people blog. I know why I blog. I want people to read what I write and have a reaction. The audience is fundamental to me. If there is no audience, I am just keeping a journal. And the purpose of the journal would be what? I have no idea. For my children to read while they’re finishing the tuna casserole the neighbor lady brought over after my funeral? They can read the comics or the steady stream of heartfelt Facebook sympathy posts. They sure won’t have to scrounge around to find my journal because it’s right here online, available to them and anyone…

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Today at the Vet

“Their dog died today.” “The dog in the waiting room that couldn’t get up?” “A different dog.” “How do you know?” “Someone said ‘sorry for your loss’ to them when I paid our bill. ____________________ #72/100: 72nd in a series of 100 in 100

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It’s Not New, It’s Just New to You

Something about Michael Brown’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, has struck a chord with white women bloggers because I sure have seen a lot of ‘I can’t believe how horrible racism is’ posts as if this is the first time they’ve realized that racism can have fatal consequences. If I wasn’t so busy being enraged about…

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More Coffee?

Every morning this week has been a test of my ability to find the narrow passageway between two indecisive people that will lead me to the coffee, then to the creamer, then to the cereal or waffle or yogurt or whatever else the free breakfast in our hotel has to offer. I love free breakfast in hotels because I want to be wealthy and I believe that the road to being wealthy is paved with a series of cheapskate decisions, like opting to decipher the mysteries of the hotel waffle maker and elbowing my way to the hard-boiled eggs instead of waiting for some nice server to bring me an…

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