The Appalachian Mountains were just hills. I was a painfully shy eight-year-old, my brother was a brave fifth grader, and we were fresh from the West, where kids read quickly, we got real snow, and mountains were screaming, sky-scraping shards, not … Continue reading
It was heading east, our way, but we had other things on our mind. There had always been storms. By then we had already cancelled our appointments. We had nowhere to be. Mom bought a transistor radio, a lantern, and … Continue reading
I never thought California would become a habit. The promise of eternally sunny skies, though attractive, left me unmoved. I’m from Denver, where 300 days of sunshine and stunning mountain views are the norm. So although I like the beach … Continue reading
New England winters are beautiful at their beginnings. People always laud autumn leaves, and sure, I get it, but the real heartbreaker is early winter: Thanksgiving through New Years’, when the leaves dry out and it finally snows, and you … Continue reading
Each state has its customs, its traditions, its ways of thinking and modes of dress.
“Everyone says you can eat the little ones.”
Night is settling over the farm, and my milking shift is almost up. I hunch my shoulders inside my dust-filmed jacket, dipping the tip of my nose below the collar to warm it momentarily before turning to the paddock and … Continue reading
Though it’s the state capital, there are almost no direct flights to Lincoln, Nebraska. I fly through Detroit and Omaha. As I walk out into the carpeted hallway in the Omaha airport, there she is, wearing the black fitted jacket … Continue reading
In fourth grade we took a tour of East Rock Park, though everyone in school had already been, since everyone in school lived in East Rock Neighborhood, or so I thought at the time. Our guide was Ranger Dan, who … Continue reading
“YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE SAD,” the twelve-foot billboard along the left side of Route 93 shouted at me in tall neon letters as our car went roaring past. Of course, it didn’t say exactly that. It was probably … Continue reading
Mémère and Pépère’s potato farm sits at the end of Bradbury road, three minutes outside of Fort Kent. My mother and her six siblings grew up on this farm with my grandparents, harvesting potatoes until the tips of their fingers were sore and stained with fertilizer.
It’s the day after Christmas and I’m moving to Bethel, Maine, in what feels like the middle of the night, but then again the sun sets early this far north.
When my aunt turned forty and I graduated high school, we celebrated our adulthood with a pilgrimage…
I could see the Rockies as I biked to work. They loomed on the horizon, peeking over Denver’s trees and storefronts…
When we moved to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, everything was as white as a blank canvas. The walls of our square, flat-roofed home were brand-new, white plaster. White cement sidewalks were freshly laid, lining the new, smoothly-paved roads, and even the ground itself was white as sand.
When Charles turned eighteen he asked if I’d cook for his birthday party. Nothing, I replied, would make me happier. My family’s home in Washington, Connecticut, has an oak slab countertop and a big brass sink for washing dirt off … Continue reading
From as early as I can remember, until I was eight or nine, I managed a chain of diverse aquariums along the sandy shore of Watch Hill Cove. The real estate upon which I built my summertime empire is a shallow stretch of sand that appears and disappears according to the tide. Although technically it is a beach, to call it that would be misleading.
My hometown is something of a movie star. Glencoe, Illinois, has been featured in a number of Hollywood flicks over the past few decades—Risky Business, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles. Even the famous Mean Girls line “You go Glen-CoCo” refers to the town. The Glencoe I saw on the big screen, however, always felt more exciting than the one I experienced in real life.
The water smelled like sulfur and the ceiling panels of the toolshed housed hornets’ nests. Most afternoons, the summer heat was so extreme it shivered and vibrated above the ground, bugs chirping and whirring in the tall, dry grass. Wimberley, Texas, … Continue reading
The car wasn’t mine, but I loved it recklessly. For six weeks, Jonathan and I drove it (twelve of Alaska’s highways), ate meals in it (grape nuts, arugula, a lot of pasta), and slept in it (back seat, sitting up, … Continue reading