My mother-in-law once told me that when her children were young she had three prayers. The first was that none of her children would get lice. The second was that she would not have any more babies once she turned 40. The last was that all of her problems would be money problems. She told […]

Read More Wish


I’ve been reading a good book lately. Sometimes reading a good book makes me sad, and I’ve been thinking about why. What I’ve come up with is that a good book conveys the human experience in all its complexities. A good book makes me, as a person, feel seen. Feeling seen by a book is […]

Read More Hex

big Fan

The other day my daughter gave me a hug and I recalled a particular section of Cherry Street. You know the spot where the train track crosses Cherry, just before Highway 65? If you’re driving east the street rises up on a little hill, where the train tracks are, and then it rises further and […]

Read More big Fan

Violent Fancy

Last Saturday we visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder House and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri. Tony and I had recently read Little House in the Big Woods to our 5-year-old daughter. Mansfield is less than an hour’s drive from Springfield, and this was a pretty weekend for it. The tips of the trees were just starting […]

Read More Violent Fancy

This is Your Notice

My headaches have been getting worse lately, and I’ve started a new medicine, Topamax. Topamax is supposed to prevent migraines when taken daily. I’ve been on it just a few days, not long enough for it to have made a difference. I hope it ends up working for me. Getting the prescription was a weird […]

Read More This is Your Notice

Parallel Universe

It’s easy to get carried away while editing. I do sometimes. I remove a sentence and discover that the piece is improved. I take out a paragraph and see it’s even better. Delete a page, then two. Eventually the screen is blank. It’s perfect! I think, Unimpeachable!  It’s the same thing with housewares. Every time […]

Read More Parallel Universe


Every time I go hiking in the Ozarks I think about the Civil War. There were a bunch of Civil War battles fought around here, including at Wilson’s Creek, the site of the second major battle of the Civil War and the first battle west of the Mississippi. The vast majority of my Civil War […]

Read More Underbrush

The Library

It’s a tough time for people who like reading books. It’s a tough time for people in general. It’s a tough time. Have you heard of this thing called coronavirus? Libraries are closed, my favorite local bookstore is not considered an essential business, and Amazon warehouse workers are striking for basic safety precautions and paid […]

Read More The Library