Love, Christmas, and a Pandemic

We rarely travel at Christmas time. The last time, in fact, was three years ago, pre-COVID. This year, our family of six will make two brief trips; one to spend time with family, and one to relax in the sun with dear friends. The pandemic took away our less-than-regular visits with family. We lost a…

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Coastal Trails

My heart races as I descend the stones thrown recklessly at the edges of the earth.  These coastal boulders are mighty as they break the waves, which threaten to wash away the trees and green shrubs, homes of bears and cougars. Whoever tossed them aside was very angry. 

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Counting Steps on the Cliff

The sun dances across my lap. The old Honda’s engine revs and releases around the curves of Lake Crescent. Turquoise waters on my right shimmer clearly against the evergreens next to its shore. I count the logs cast aside into the lake’s bottomless waters. Just past the upcoming campground we will take a hard right…

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Great Explorer

Legends are made this way. Legends are borne in the small, tiny stories, the kind that stick year after year—where there is always more to tell, but you cannot get there because this particular part is just too good.

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Is Reconciliation a Lost Cause?

I try to remind myself not to look at my phone. It’s the countdown—two minutes, five minutes, twelve minutes, twenty-five minutes. and so on. The text turns blue, reads delivered. What I want is to be pursued, known, seen. I want my pain to matter to her.

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10-Cent Ice Cream Cones

In the late Sunday summer afternoons of Eastern North Dakota, the sun is already beating its way through our Ford Pinto windows and onto the black vinyl seats we are about to gingerly put our bare skin on. There are four of us who need to get into the car and, luckily, no car seats…

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A Conversation at Starbucks

I arrive at Starbucks, sit at a small round table, and wait for the barista to call me. I ordered iced green tea–no sugar, no cream. In the afternoon, I still want caffeine but pretend to be healthier by ordering tea instead of black coffee. Besides, I don’t appreciate the bitter roast of Starbucks. It’s…

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No End in Sight

Weeks before the collective pandemic upheaval in March 2020, I found myself stepping off the Seattle-to-Bainbridge Island ferry. I am carrying a backpack chock-full of books. Some of the books are mine; others are not. Books are friends, holding words I want to remember. Piles of them are stacked in both my home and therapy…

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Bloody Noses

Angst, religion,           the entire system.  Last week a friend adding something  challenge to that system.     My anger and rage;            God knows me by name.  Surges of words             rush  forth, and lips smack them back.

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The Encounter

I lie still, my back pressed into the blankets on the summer sheets, arms clasped across my chest, eyes closed. I cross my feet. Sinking, sinking, not drowning. Gravity compels the air to form to my body, enclosing me, swaddling me. As my body floats, the bed disappears.

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