TBR List Declutter, Issue 48

Tangent: Missing, After Seven Months in California Things I miss about Massachusetts: Picking fruit throughout the summer and fall. Snow sparkles. Animal tracks in the snow. The clean, sharp feeling of breathing in really cold air. The first three times shoveling snow each winter. Hiking through deciduous forests. Our twice-monthly ecology classes at the wildlifeContinue reading “TBR List Declutter, Issue 48”

Bookends: April 2017

April in Massachusetts was a stop-and-start process towards spring. We heard spring peepers peeping, watched the maple trees bloom and then make itty-bitty seeds, and now we’re seeing leaves galore. The lilacs and cherry trees are in blossom, and I can smell flowers on my walks around the neighborhood. And unlike last year, there’s beenContinue reading “Bookends: April 2017”

Bookends: March 2017

My time in central Massachusetts, experiencing the discourtesy people here call “direct,” has been six years of cultural fatigue. There are things that I love about the area, but the people are consistently prickly. Yes, people can be impolite anywhere and in a surprising variety of ways, but most places I’ve lived and visited, the rudeness has been shocking in partContinue reading “Bookends: March 2017”

Not From Around Here

“What wad are you in?” asked the constable at our polling place. “Excuse me?” asked my spouse, leaning in closer. “Tell me your street name, and I’ll tell you your wad,” said the constable. “Wad?” asked my spouse. “Honey,” I whispered, “I think he’s asking what ward we’re in.” Nearly five years in Massachusetts, andContinue reading “Not From Around Here”

Regional Differences

The front-desk lady at the dance studio made my daughter cry. I was in the back observing ten minutes of a dance class I’m considering for our son (yes, this is the same son who wears a sports bra; that’s a different post), and my spouse was with our kids in the waiting area. He tellsContinue reading “Regional Differences”

Take a Hike! Wachusett Mountain

Every weekend, my husband says, “Let’s hike up Wachusett Mountain!” And every weekend I say, “But we have this and this and that to do, and it’s going to be a long hike.” Or I say, “Sure!” and then we don’t get ready to go until noon and the kids are complaining. Either way, weContinue reading “Take a Hike! Wachusett Mountain”

On Love and Marriage

We lived in California when same-sex marriage first became legal in Massachusetts. I remember seeing  Rev. William Sinkford, then president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, on television performing the first legal same-sex wedding ceremonies. I remember feeling incredible pride that I was a UU. When we moved to Massachusetts this past summer, New York had justContinue reading “On Love and Marriage”


Tonight, we had our first snow. Now, I’ve lived in snowy places. Ohio. That was snowy. Salt Lake City. Heck, they had their first snow weeks ago. Even in North Carolina we had an ice storm that knocked out the electricity for an entire week, and two years before that, we had the Snow ofContinue reading “Uninhabitable”

Goodbye, Salamanders! See You Tomorrow!

So, we went camping. And we made it back. And the children loved it. “I loved camping!” my daughter proclaimed while we were at the coffee shop waiting for our supplemental breakfast to be served (cold bagels and frosted mini wheats weren’t really my kids’ thing, and we needed eggs, pancakes, and—in my daughter’s case—hotContinue reading “Goodbye, Salamanders! See You Tomorrow!”

Why Put a New Address on That Same Old Loneliness?

On the way up to Maine this weekend (my first time in Maine), I was feeling intractably out-of-place, sort of fundamentally alienated, when we came upon Portland. It seemed like a cute little city. I looked up the population in our road atlas. “Just over 62,000,” I reported to my husband. “That might be aContinue reading “Why Put a New Address on That Same Old Loneliness?”