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Millennial Life: Find Freedom in the Mundane Memories

There was a sale on potatoes, and it seemed like everyone in the family decided to pick up a bag. At one point, I opened the pantry, and it smelled like my grandparents' cellar, the one side room that they filled with potatoes in a pile higher than I was tall.

Back in my memories, there is a small version of myself sitting in a field where my ...Read more

Curiosity Can Save the Cat

A flat, smooth trail runs alongside the Rio Grande, which is mostly dry at this time of the year. The trail can be part of a longer loop, but we rode it as an out-and-back and ended up returning with an extra passenger found along the way.

Since I'm biking, I'm wrangling everyone who will take me up on the offer to go with me. I am slow, I ...Read more

Finding Community on a School Night

Poor parental planning landed us at a hibachi grill an hour away and nearly 30 minutes before bedtime. The father from the other party that we sat down with -- not to break bread, but to watch a chef break eggs on fried rice -- whooped his approval at the two young first-timers we brought in.

It was my daughter's birthday, and we wanted to ...Read more

Make a Plan to Vote for Your Happily Ever After

The campaigns were wrapping up, finding fellowship in backyards. These meetings are the last intimate push of wrapping up a candidate's stances with a neat bow, avoiding that life is thrown at you in gift bags with crumpled tissue paper.

These garden parties are an event where, if you know a few people, you can wait for the candidate to do ...Read more

Finding Balance When Life's Not Fair

As an only child, the running joke before I had kids was that I was intensely curious about how multiple kids would claim their territory in the back seat. As a mom, I realized that "to the victor go the spoils" is probably not the best parenting method.

From having one child to being pregnant with the second, I worried about how I'd love and ...Read more

Let's Enjoy Our Hobbies Instead of Commodifying Them

When I decided to get back in the saddle (that is, the saddle attached to two wheels instead of four equine legs), I bought a cheap bike from someone who repaired old ones for charity. I figured that if we were going to be a biking family, I'd need to figure out how much I enjoyed it before I dropped a ton of money.

The old bike, a burnt orange...Read more

Millennial Life: The Powers of Commiseration Lead to Change Only if We're Careful

An 18-count carton of eggs used to be anywhere from $2 to $4 at my local grocery store. As eggs are a breakfast staple for us, a household joke during the pandemic was the waxing and waning of the price of eggs. It felt like we were doing better when egg prices began to creep back down to 5 bucks from the previous week's new outrageous price of ...Read more

There Are No Winners in the Death of Retail

There is one escalator in our town. It's located in the chain bookstore on the university campus and is a novelty for my kids. With that in mind, we went to the mall as a reward for an appointment that mainly included waiting in the nearby Big City. My daughter marveled at the escalator heading to a department store's third floor. I marveled at ...Read more

Millennial Life: What We Carry Inside Is What Guides Us

When I'm with someone mean or aggressive, I try to think about the circumstances that might have led to their emotions that have nothing to do with me at that moment. They may have stubbed their toe. They might have a sick child at home. Their mother may have died.

Even though these things don't have anything to do with me, I might still ...Read more

Dare to Be Straight with Kids

I remember the DARE program mostly from the shirt. In elementary school, shirts you got as a gift were at first impossibly large, but in a blink of an eye and forever after, they were so small it seemed impossible you were ever that size. Especially after you give birth and look back at your old pants and realize that Shakira was right: hips, in...Read more

Millennial Life: Stacking the Ends of Eras

A smattering of leaves in my neighbor's trees is already turning yellow. It feels as though I just watched green leaves grow onto those bare branches a few short weeks ago. Again, the year has turned, showing the end of this cycle, leading to the start of others. One cycle we watched end together was through the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and ...Read more

Millennial Life: What Is This? A Porch for Ants?

There were a whole host of movies that traumatized kids in the 1980s. There was the dying horse in "The NeverEnding Story." There was the death of the dinosaur mom in "The Land Before Time." There was an ant who bravely fought a scorpion in "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids." If these were cinematic Aesop's Fables for millennials, that could explain ...Read more

Enjoy the Moments That Make Up the Journey

Sometimes I learn more about my children's day from what I pull out of their pockets when I do laundry than from what I can pull out of them when I pick them up from school.

The pockets are full of leaves, hair ties and rocks. My inner child appreciates those, the stones with colorful lines or those particularly round and smooth. I keep those, ...Read more

 

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