I started reading essays by Erma Bombeck ten years ago, by the glow of my daughters’ nightlight during a particularly difficult time in our lives. We were moving back to Cincinnati after our overseas assignment in Italy and living with my parents, since we had sold our house the previous year. What I had imagined to be a very romantic and adventurous experience just outside … Continue reading I Was Forty-Five at the Time
My grandfather was born Quentin Gerald Brown in 1919 in Blue, Oklahoma, a tiny, relatively unknown town near the border of Texas. From what I understand, when his mother became pregnant out of wedlock, they fled in shame from her family, toward his. From a more urban midwest city to the life of sharecroppers amidst the Dustbowl, where a lifetime of staggering poverty, profound loneliness, … Continue reading Where the Crawdads Sing. This Book Will Wreck All the Other Books.
Right out of college I worked at small, marketing research company in Northern Kentucky. It was all women, three of whom smoked actual cigarettes and had real ashtrays at the their desks, in an office they shared with all of us, like an all female version of Mad Men. Aside from the second-hand smoke, it was an interesting job that I really enjoyed. But despite … Continue reading A Full-Circle Moment.
The summer after my junior year in college, I interned at a graphic design firm, in the marketing department. It was a firm in which my dad had consulted a few years prior and where he’d been dubbed “Analogy Man” due to his (over)use of analogies. I remember pride blooming in my chest, the image of him striding through that open office, suit jacket fluttering … Continue reading Gardening. It’s Just Such a Good Analogy.
When I was a little girl and I would get a cavity, which seemed like it happened often, they were so small and shallow that the dentist would pinch the skin between my thumb and pointer finger in order to numb my tooth. Totally logical. Eventually, he got to a cavity in which his Medieval-thumb-pinching-trick didn’t work and I felt the drill hit a nerve… … Continue reading Girl, Brush Your Teeth!
I really believe that there is a spiritual transformation that takes place when you throw away fennel seeds that expired in 2012. I don’t recall buying fennel seeds. And I don’t recall ever making a recipe that would require me to use fennel seeds. And yet there I was, dumping out a jar of fennel seeds that expired in the June of 2012. We have … Continue reading A (sort of ) Serious Guide to Organizing the Pantry
One of my husband’s love languages is Acts of Service. (Others include golf, tennis, beer, and Cleveland sports, but that’s not really relevant here.) You might have read the book, The 5 Love Languages? If you haven’t, a it’s good one. Essentially, there are five ways in which you show and receive love and you have a predominant type: Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words … Continue reading I Hang Pictures Because I Love You
Ryan and I have been married for almost twenty years. We have lived in a condo in St. Louis, three houses in Cincinnati, an apartment in Italy, and two houses in Atlanta. We have moved seven times. Seven. And except for the moves to Italy and our first move to Atlanta which were corporate moves, we have packed ourselves. We have become decluttering-purging-garage-sale-masters. And still … Continue reading Decluttering My Life
I have been reading a lot lately about choosing One Word for the year. Instead of making an exhaustive list of All The Things I Wish I Could Do Better But Will Give Up By February, it’s more of a focus or an intention for the entire year. So I made up my mind that I was going to choose a word… like I was … Continue reading One Year. One Word.
I always think that life would be so much better if it contained actual background music. Just like in movies, the perfect song would start playing during integral moments of your life. You know, like… Whatever it Takes by Imagine Dragons at the pinnacle moment in your marathon, You Oughtta Know by Alanis Morissette after you get dumped and you’re drinking with your girlfriends, This … Continue reading Background Music Would be a Great Addition to Real Life.