Category: Family

The First Recipe

A BIG QUESTION Guest Post by Krista Richards Mann — I love cooking. Starting in grade school, my mother let me make dinner for the family once a week. The first recipe I remember learning was something she called salmon patties. We removed small vertebras from a can of salmon with our fingers, mixed the…

Paying for Santa

Number four child was TRYING to whisper in Jolly Old St. Nick’s ear at the Santa Village when she was interrupted. Elf: “WHICH PHOTO PACKAGE DID YOU BUY?!” the elf barked at us. Me: “We haven’t chosen one yet,” I said. “We wanted to get in line before it got too long.” Elf: “WHAT?! Well,…

How We Remember Alone

When I lived in Kansas City, I was single. This meant that I spent a great deal of my energy and mind space being frustrated and unhappy about my “alone”ness. Like most young women (and men too, I guess), I really wanted to find someone special to connect with, to be with, so long as…

A Great Christmas Memory

(This is a guest post from Paul Merrill, part of the If Only in My Dreams: Big Question Series.) Christmas means different things to different people. After 22 years of marriage, Heather and I are finally understanding how much our families influenced how we enjoy holidays. How many presents are under the tree? Do you…

Real or Real-ish

In which I tried to explain to the kids that our little “artificial” tree is actually “real.” Existentialism 101 Me: We are putting up our tree this afternoon. Kid 1: Is it a real tree? Me: Well, yes, it is a real tree. A real tree in that it isn’t imaginary. Kid 1: No, I…

An Alternative Christmas

Guest Post by Writer-Runner-Teacher Tricia Dowcett Whenever my mother asks me what we would like for Christmas, I always reply that I would prefer to do rather than to have.  A show, a day in Boston, a trip to a museum.  She will usually frown and insist that at Christmas, the kids should be able to…

Vacationland: Switch off and Tune In

I need a vacation. Let’s all insert here for a minute the list of blessings I have. Nice house Good family Everything I need and want (food, clothing, shelter) Friends Education Human Rights Time to meditate and do yoga Lots of good books, and a library card too. Many more OK, even in the face…

The Danger of Being Quiet

Here’s what keeps happening… I keep getting self-conscious and don’t want to say anything so I stay quiet. Then something like a week passes and I think: what happened to that time? Oh my goodness, if I am just quiet, if I don’t say anything, what meaning does it all have?! How can I remember…

Fine Tooth Comb

Blue plastic comb Rosemary Spray Bother the louse And its tedium. Glass-half full? Long sessions Together on a Sun-warmed stoop Hand in her hair. Day 17, A River of Stones

Dirty Face

Eating means makingMess to smallPeopleAnd to some of themSticky marshmallowBecomingHand spider webIs the reason. Day 7, A River of Stones

Riding Through Flyover

We are passing through some flyover states today… Glad that we are not flying over but taking that slower time to look at the scenery, at what the shape of other places looks like. We came around a bend near Lake Erie and all at once the land flattened out into farms… The horizon was…

Make some memories

This is a guest post from Paul Merrill. Saturday. For those of us who work Monday through Friday, Saturday is a precious day. It’s the only day we can knock a few things off that everlasting to-do list. So a few weeks ago, my son asked me to spend a Saturday with him at the…

More Bon-Bons Please.

Fine, Matt. This is posted because you told me to. I am about to tell you something really gross that’s going to make you puke, so get the bucket. I don’t have to work at all if I don’t want to. (Go ahead. Heave away. I’ll wait while you blow your nose.) Back? Feeling better?…