Saying Thank You to the Trees

In the last five years I’ve done several things my younger self would never have expected. But this one has to be right up there. I cried, watching, as my husband rode a backhoe up to the top of our wooden house frame and nailed a fresh fir bough to the highest peak. We’re not […]

Love Doesn’t Break Down Love

She was dying when she said it. Dying slowly, but still dying. I was supposed to be taking care of her. It was my job, swing shift in a nursing home, to help her get ready for bed in the way you do with people who don’t get out of bed. But this evening I had come […]

Reading the Bible with a Red Pen

The first time I read the Bible I read it with a red pen. I was a teenage atheist in search of ammunition. I marked out, word by word, the insanity and the violence, the patriarchy and the oppression. I highlighted the abandonment of the tortured concubine and the dashing of babies’ heads against the […]

Two Stardust Girls

It was a summer more than twenty years ago, when my sister and I wore flip flops to watch the Perseid meteor shower from a mountaintop above a lightning storm. We were camping nine days across the Rockies. I was 11, she was 19, and we each felt the other’s company was riches. It was […]

How a Woman Learns to Talk

My mother was born with a little string of flesh that tied her tongue to the bottom of her mouth. Until age four she made only small, strangled sounds. Her people thought she couldn’t make words because she wasn’t smart enough. In their words, Retarded. When she came inside from the barn with red paint […]