Category: Mostly True Family Stories

The White Binder

My brother had our parents’ stuff laid out like a well-organized garage sale with no price tags. Relatives were picking up and putting down my mother’s costume jewelry which was arranged in rows on the basement ping pong table. I found a locket that… Continue Reading “The White Binder”

Some Things Take a Long Time to Learn

The key to being able to truly feel gratitude is to want less and accept more.  I say this, of course, after already having lived a life that has been abundant with many things but knowing that it’s possible and common to have great… Continue Reading “Some Things Take a Long Time to Learn”

An Awake Nightmare

My daughter sends pictures of the sky in California. She says she can smell the fires. And that she and her husband have decided to never leave their home unattended. You know, just in case. The heavy fire air of California brings a new,… Continue Reading “An Awake Nightmare”

Don’t Make Me Leave Hastings

Just an hour ago, the sun was shining on my back while I painted the window frames. In the distance I could see the fog coming our way off Lake Superior and wished I’d started painting earlier. Now we’re enveloped and I hope it… Continue Reading “Don’t Make Me Leave Hastings”

Tiny Things Last

A tiny thing can last for years. The memory of it can be as fresh as the first second, the leaves on the bush as green, the soil underneath as loamy and dark and the tiny elves’ footprints as distinct. My brother would motion… Continue Reading “Tiny Things Last”

A Long Time Coming: Getting to Know My Father

It didn’t take long for my father to develop an email style. His very first email carried what would become his signature farewell. TIE. Take it easy. Sometimes he added SIT. Stay in touch. His emails were short, very factual, reporting on his bowling… Continue Reading “A Long Time Coming: Getting to Know My Father”

The Scary People are Coming to Dinner

The part about extending invitations to dinner is luscious.”Oh, you really must come, see our new kitchen.” Head toss, wave. The best feeling ever is when the event itself is a long ways off, a beautiful feast on the horizon, everyone well-coiffed, pleasant, and… Continue Reading “The Scary People are Coming to Dinner”

Elegy

Stand with 10,000 ghostsHear their last wordsHurrying to the riverRunning into the treesShedding this life for new Drop your envy and yearning on the groundNestle your love in the rocks’ mortarBe part of the wall that stays behindShelter the lost and the growingReach your… Continue Reading “Elegy”

My Mother’s Face

After my father died, I found this photo in his bedroom. It was leaning against the mirror of the vanity where my mother had sat painting her nails in a room dark except for the small lamp, her red nails gleaming in the dim… Continue Reading “My Mother’s Face”

The Searing Comfort of Layla

I spent the summer of 1973 sitting on a blanket atop the scorched brown grass behind our Flint townhouse, yards of black cord connected my bagel-size headphones to our stereo inside. I watched my eight-month old baby girl sit and crawl and eat the… Continue Reading “The Searing Comfort of Layla”

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