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XO

Every month, Mamalode announces a new theme and puts out a call for essays. When they announced that February’s theme would be XO, my immediate thought was “This is a toughie–’cause what don’t I love? I could write 3,000 words about the boots in my closet, the woman at the...

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Why I Can’t Return the Sour Milk

Step into my mukluks for seventeen minutes. Minute One: Park car in lot outside “fancy” grocery store in town. As door slams, congratulate self on not locking keys inside. Simultaneously marvel at surprising deliciousness of cotton candy gum. Minute Two: Walk across parking lot to store. Remember time you ran into...

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But Wilt Thou Woo This Wild Cat?

She’s doing her nightly thing: listening to music; checking her social media, chipping away at homework. When a favorite song comes on, the volume goes up. When a new text comes in, her fingers tap. When a page of Spanish is memorized, I hear it flip. I’m standing eight feet...

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They Delight Me

I sat in the stylist’s chair, getting my mane snipped.  As another tuft of hair floated to the floor, the stylist made conversation, asking, “So what’s it like, parenting a 14-year-old girl?” It was a nominal question, meant to fill time, to keep us from silence. Even before I responded, the stylist anticipated...

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Live & Learn

These past few months, I’ve been fortunate enough to have the online magazine Mamalode publish a few of my essays. Every month, Mamalode announces a theme and then accepts submissions; this month, the theme is “Live & Learn.” In response, I recalled our family’s year in Turkey–a time of intense...

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Axe Attacks

My brother’s Christmas gift to Paco arrived yesterday. It’s almost as though my brother understands boys– because the Gil Hibben Generation 2 Pro Thrower Axe is a dream come true for our lad. And three of his friends. Even though an arctic front swept through last night, and it’s a...

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Cranky Broads

Upon learning of my career as a teacher of writing, a former college professor wryly noted, “Composition is the armpit of the university.” As had also been the case when he commended Wallace Stegner as the United States’ greatest author, the former professor’s judgment was keen. Certainly, teaching composition can be inspirational and gratifying....

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The Worst Gifts

With so many opportunities for gift-giving in our fortunate lives, nearly everyone has a story of receiving a terrible, terrible gift. An informal survey of friends recently yielded stories of some real corkers. Settle in with a cup of rose hip tea that your husband’s cousin gave you, even though...