An Attic’s Memories

This mom is itching to create a place to hold her family’s history I fondly remember the attic of my childhood. A set of wooden stairs led into a hot, cedar-smelling expanse. The steps were cluttered with cleaning supplies. I recall an ironing board hung on the wall. But once the risers dissolved into aContinue reading “An Attic’s Memories”

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.”

To Connect is Human

Two weeks ago, I was in a retirement community in Eastern North Carolina, celebrating the long life of my mother-in-law. After a lovely funeral Mass, the family lined up to hear the kind words of those who knew her. We were instructed not to shake hands or hug. We could lean in, bump elbows, smile.Continue reading “To Connect is Human”

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”

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”

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”

Fall Is My Nesting Season

Anyone who has welcomed a new baby to their world has heard of the nesting instinct — that desire to put in place every supply, every space, every tool ahead of the life-changing arrival. I have no new babies in my future. And yet, the urge to organize, plan, prepare is strong every year rightContinue reading “Fall Is My Nesting Season”

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!”