It was hard for my dad to describe to me what he did at work when I was little. He was a mechanic in the Air Force, specializing in hydraulics for F-16s. When I asked, he would tell me about how fluids turn into pressure and how wind creates lift, conversations that floated above me but must have ended up still tucked into a corner of my mind ...Read more
A few years back, at a weekend conference, I did a brief tour of the newsroom of my state's largest newspaper. Other attendees walked through the rows of empty desks without so much of a glance around. I ogled the different personal items on the desks -- the witty mugs, the dog calendars and so, so many books -- I thought about what it might be ...Read more
Social media gets a bad rap. Most of it is well deserved. It caters to various strains of "fake news," unrealistic life standards and relentless commercialism of all aspects of life. But as a work-from-homer, social media has been a savior against the stark loneliness I felt when I sat in the office alone, particularly over the past year.
The doctors first asked me to leave the room. I can't remember where I went and whether I was escorted or not, but I left. My parents went to sit down with the doctors at a little table in my hospital room. The doctors would explain, and my parents would meticulously sign, the stack of forms that detailed all the horrible ways the surgery I ...Read more
When he responded to my call with a deep, slow hello, it sounded like I roused him from sleep. I blurted out the question of whether I could speak to a world-famous comedian. Except, aside from the same last name and a shared first letter of the first name, this was not that comedian.
He laughed when I tripped back over my tongue to fix it. "Oh...Read more
We gave in to our children's continued requests for a cat. When we walked into the adoption center, it was all over. A first batch of kittens was a no-go when their little needle-like claws got stuck on the kids' skin. The kids deflated as they pried the adorable mewing floofs off.
The employee suggested the cat room. One friendly little male ...Read more
When I left for college, I was proud that I could pack my life into my car. I stuffed everything that I needed -- or thought I needed -- into a 1988 Volvo 240. When I shoved my lava lamp next to a stack of shirts, I never for a minute dreamed that it would be considered cool to live in your car, a van or a tiny house originally dreamt up for ...Read more
My first job was when I was 15. After hanging around the computer lab a little too long, I was asked if I wanted to help with tech support for my high school. I would spend one of my school periods wandering around the school and adding memory cards or updating software. It was billed as an advanced computer class, but I was also paid for my ...Read more
The physical differences between my son and daughter grew as rapidly as they did. My son has always been much denser. His torso is sturdy as a brick, with a heft that my daughter has never had, even with three years on him.
So, when he lost about 4 pounds during his three-week bout of strep throat, the lightness of his body afterward scared me ...Read more
After responding to a flurry of emails from early risers and adjusting my seat, I also needed to adjust my window curtains. The daily switch from bright morning light to the more productive midmorning sun was complemented by the sounds of heavy machinery reversing in the distance and a stream of cars humming on the main road nearby.
Sound and ...Read more
I struggle mightily with writing about race. I'm a relatively run-of-the-mill white lady, and mine has been a very white upbringing, without much, if any, diversity. While attached to military life as a dependent, the kids are pulled together regardless of their race, especially in the Department of Defense American schools in foreign countries....Read more
I'm always happy with my fellow porch dwellers, especially those who tolerate my enthusiastic hand-waving during my walks. One older couple in my neighborhood sits together, the lady vocal enough that I'll take my earbud out just to catch what today's turn of phrase is, more so I don't reply a low "Good morning" to her chirpy "Beautiful day, isn...Read more