Losing the Need to Win

I can easily recall the disappointment on my sweet son’s face. We were perched, him and me, at a game table by the window at a state park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a rainy day and our plans of wandering and fishing had been shifted to play and snacks inside the visitor’sContinue reading “Losing the Need to Win”

High School Seniors, Here’s My Shoulder. Have a Big, Ugly Cry.

Dear Class of 2020: I’m writing today because sometimes when terrible things happen, it’s important to stop, and count the cost, and just cry. Of course, having the next few months of your life popped like a soap bubble is nothing compared to the tens of thousands of people who have lost their lives. ButContinue reading “High School Seniors, Here’s My Shoulder. Have a Big, Ugly Cry.”

Finding My Path

Six years ago next month,my first newspaper feature in more than a decade was printed in The Roanoke Times. That story marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life, one where I would attempt to add a career in writing to the swirl of raising three kids and eating local food and volunteering in my community. I’dContinue reading “Finding My Path”

How to Find Local Food

Buying local can connect you with healthier food that is good for the environment and your community. It takes a bit of retraining — like forming any good habit. But the rewards are delicious fruits, vegetables and proteins at the peak of their flavor. Below, find a few resources to get you started. Once youContinue reading “How to Find Local Food”

Balancing Act

I remember hearing about “the golden mean” as a child. It must have been explained to me then that this philosophy of Socrates and Plato, of Aristotle and Confucius and Aquinas, was a basic truth I should strive to follow. It basically says that the path to perfection is carved between two extremes. The MiddleContinue reading “Balancing Act”

Free Floating

I am standing in a warm, salt-smelling room. It’s dark; what little light there is casts a surreal rosy glow. In front of me sits a giant plastic pod, the shape of an avocado. Its mouth is open. Its tongue is 12 inches of tepid water. That’s where I’m planning to spend the next ninetyContinue reading “Free Floating”

Every Year, It Changes

Every year, there are many holiday traditions at my house. We take a long, cold hike on December 23rd. On Christmas Eve, we cook and open one gift and crowd into overfilled church pews. Christmas Day, we wake early and gobble steamy cinnamon rolls and welcome a visit from my Dad and his wife. OnContinue reading “Every Year, It Changes”

Brightening the Winter Blues

“The light changes 10 minutes every day,” explained my friend about the palpable shift from one morning to the next in the Alaskan city where she lived for several years. She had loved that fast-forward sunlight feature. How each day was dramatically different from the one before. How the sun’s rays could be in a completely newContinue reading “Brightening the Winter Blues”

A Little Recycling Magic

A new group in town called Sustainable Roanoke provides info and inspiration via Facebook. But its leader, Celeste Delgado-Librero is committed to action as well as education. One of her first steps was to gather together like-minded folks committed to finding a place for those hard-to-recycle items: #5 plastics, foil-lined bar wrappers, plastic bags. ThisContinue reading “A Little Recycling Magic”

I’ve Missed You!

What can I say? What started as a busy few months morphed into a yearlong (Really? How did that happen?) break. But I’m back. With recipes. And not-to-be-missed local food events and links to my writing. Speaking of which … that’s really what’s to blame for my — shall we call it a sabbatical? I’veContinue reading “I’ve Missed You!”