In my youth, I scaled mountains.
Nay, I scaled mountain ranges.
When I was an adventure tour guide in Papua New Guinea, we hired a team of locals to take intrepid travelers from one isolated village to the next, up one mountain and down another. Days of hiking, thorns digging into our skin as we trudged on. Wading through rivers. Slipping ...Read more
We knew we weren't ready for a dog. The search for the perfect pet began there.
"Cat?" my husband suggested.
"I'd rather not invite something into my home that would immediately begin plotting my death," I said. "How about a rabbit?"
"Why would we get a pet that needs to stay in a cage?"
I saw his point. We were getting our first pet as a ...Read more
My daughter's superpower is unleashed in the form of persuading anyone and everyone to give her free food. Food is her No. 1 mission in life, and like 007, she never misses her mark -- or chicken drumstick, for that matter.
It helps that she is roly-poly and adorable, but don't be fooled into thinking there is little more happening here than ...Read more
"What do you think about this?" she said to me, holding up a checkered midriff shirt.
"For me or a doll?"
The sales clerk laughed. And she was genuinely adorable. "For you!"
"Yea-a-a-a-h, I'm pretty sure my midriff days are over," I said.
"Really?" She asked. "Do they end?"
See? What'd I tell you? Adorable.
"It's pretty cool-looking," she ...Read more
"It's a Euro-electro-funk band. You're in, right?"
Returning to college in your 30s is weird.
"I don't think I know what that is," I said.
My 19-year-old classmate laughed as if I were joking.
"No, really. What is that?" I asked.
"I know, right? It feels like it's been forever since I moshed hard -- like, three months."...Read more
In an episode of "Friends" called "The One Where Old Yeller Dies," Phoebe learns that her mother used to prematurely turn off classic movies to spare Phoebe's feelings. She thought "Old Yeller" was a fun family film until her friends show her the ending.
Why, Travis?! Why?
Over the next few days, Phoebe immerses herself in film re-...Read more
I walked into my 5-year-old's classroom to pick him up before the final bell rang. He ran to greet me, followed by his teacher, who looked stern.
"I thought you should know, your son has been telling the other students that you are" -- she lowered her voice to a whisper -- "a witch."
I looked at my child and spoke with anger: "You've been ...Read more
Taco-in-a-cone is the answer.
Last week, I wore white -- a horrific mistake, and not just because we are well past Labor Day. The selection of the lacy white shirt was bound to leave me full of regret because I am a messy eater and I had a full day of meetings ahead of me -- the first one being a lunch meeting.
Grace has never been my strong...Read more
The Empty PulpitSandra Arrants
Fourteen year old Sherman Thompson has stumbled upon the body of his pastor. Laid out, dead, on the front lawn of the parsonage, Reverend Archibald Temple had a voice of thunder that has been rendered silent forever. Sherman and his sister Grace are determined to find out who killed him and ...
Like many kids, I was always afraid to show my mom a bad report card. Grades were not the most important thing in our house, but they were definitely important. A low score on an assignment or test was inevitably met with weeks of discussing personal drive, making work schedules and making study charts. It was worth excelling just to avoid the ...Read more
The day after Hurricane Irma pounded Florida, I heard a story about a woman who had gone into labor and been unable to get to the hospital. A 911 dispatcher had to talk her through birthing the baby at home. She named the child Irma.
It got me thinking, who are these incredibly lucky dukes and duchesses designated to name storms? Who are ...Read more
When I was about 6 years old, the house next door was struck by lightning. I don't remember the sound, the zap of pure electricity hitting a man-made shelter, but it must've been significant. Or perhaps it was not the sound of the lightning bolt but rather the repercussion, a crumbling roof and the chimney's collapsing on the cars below, that ...Read more
I've never been one to turn down something free.
It's in my blood. My dad, a man who never drinks alcohol, is such a fan of anything free that he cannot be taken to open-bar weddings because he otherwise would end up attempting to crowd-surf the processional. It's the same reason he has been asked on more than one occasion not to return to a ...Read more
I don't know how it began, the encouraging of my son to become a crime lord. Most likely, it was birthed out of necessity, as so many poor seemingly short-term parenting choices are. It was probably because of a tantrum, a freakout, a clingy spell, a crying spell -- some event in which throwing my son off his game, making him question or ...Read more