A Little Jab’ll Do Ya!

What’s your last name? Coombs. Spell it. C-O-O-M as in Mary – B as in Boy – S as in Sam. Coombs. That’s a weird name… Okay… Yesterday, I drove into Boston for my first Covid-19 shot at the Hynes Convention Center. As someone who’s stayed pretty isolated this past year, I was relieved andContinue reading “A Little Jab’ll Do Ya!”

Too Much Nature

While we knew the house would bring us closer to nature – surrounded as it is on three sides with forest and wetlands – the sheer volume and frequency of these encounters went grossly underappreciated. By the end of the first year it wasn’t uncommon to hear a yelp, thud, muttering, and what would becomeContinue reading “Too Much Nature”

Two-Way Mirror

It wasn’t the preschool tuition twice my annual salary or the second house that sat unused but for summer weekends. It wasn’t even the ATM receipt casually left on a kitchen counter showing an account balance I still can’t imagine 25 years later. No, the moment I truly became aware of class was the nightContinue reading “Two-Way Mirror”

A Numbers Game

Note to readers: This essay is about illness, death, and dying. It was written for a writing class I’m taking because I’m still trying to process this information and needed to let it out. For those who’ve already read it and reached out, I’m sorry for posting this warning too late. I’m okay right now.Continue reading “A Numbers Game”

We made it. Good job, house.

It’s approaching six years since we bought our Massachusetts fixer upper. The renovations, repairs, fantasy addition, and landscape design we’d imagined a la HGTV never happened. Hell, I’m still working on painting the kitchen cabinet doors I took off right before we moved in and by “working” I mean I’ve finished painting and put upContinue reading “We made it. Good job, house.”

Tom Nook, PsyD

If not for a pandemic, I don’t know if the March 20 release of Animal Crossing New Horizons would have been such an important event for our family. But it was. At least for me: the 50 year old who had never played the game before. I’m reminded of this every morning I wake upContinue reading “Tom Nook, PsyD”

K-dramas or bust

My 11 and 14 year old daughters turned me on to Korean dramas back in early January; it was inevitable I suppose given their love of Korean music. Since then – as we navigate this “new normal” we all live in – our family has turned to them for nightly escape, either watching shows onContinue reading “K-dramas or bust”

Homeschooling: your mileage may vary

This essay was published in the local newspaper on April 1. Nearly four years ago, I removed my kids from public school and, with the help of an experienced and local homeschooling friend, created an education plan for the following academic year. That summer was spent acquiring textbooks, magazine subscriptions, elementary and middle school mathContinue reading “Homeschooling: your mileage may vary”

Trying something new

Because my spouse and I don’t really go in for Valentine’s Day (except for that one time when he – very out of character – proposed while I was suffering from a horrible steak-induced stomach ache), this year I decided to gift myself something that I’d wanted for a while. So, after weighing the prosContinue reading “Trying something new”

I still don’t miss you, Facebook

Historically, I work better in small groups. Because I’m not a very social person, I think I was always a little ambivalent about Facebook as a useful service. For many years after opening my account in 2008, I limited it to people I actually had a personal relationship with: family, close friends, close acquaintances, etc.Continue reading “I still don’t miss you, Facebook”

Kids, do you know what “triage” means?

It’s never a good sign when you realize that you’re more than halfway through the school year, but you’ve somehow gone off the rails. And you did so awhile back without noticing. Today is February 10, we only have about four months of school left, and I’m finally accepting that we are very behind. AsContinue reading “Kids, do you know what “triage” means?”

Tip your professor

I had a mentor before I even understood what a mentor was. I had a mentor before I even realized I was being mentored. What I did know was there was someone who saw something in me I could no longer see, if I ever had. She dreamed bigger dreams for me than I dreamedContinue reading “Tip your professor”

One burger, carnivorous style (Writing Prompt 1)

Writing Prompt 1: On a recent trip back from NYC, my 11 year old overheard the following while waiting in line at McDonald’s. “I’ll never look at a burger the same way again since what happened to Peter.” We decided to turn it into a 30 minute writing prompt. Below, is one of my veryContinue reading “One burger, carnivorous style (Writing Prompt 1)”

Our K-pop life

Now that the kids are getting older, in addition to giving physical presents this past Christmas, I decided to also gift each of them with an experience. And with both of them really into music at the moment – K-pop to be specific – I decided to go with concert tickets. Three days ago itContinue reading “Our K-pop life”

Thank you, BTS

Music has never meant as much to me as it did when I was 14. Even in my 20s when I spent the bulk of my money and evenings watching my favorite bands perform throughout Boston, the connection was muffled. Alone in my room with headphones, record on repeat, and pouring over lyrics while sittingContinue reading “Thank you, BTS”

The way back

Yesterday, I took my 13 year old daughter to Plymouth for a history visit. The plan to see Plimoth Plantation was mentally scrapped at the halfway point of our 75 minute drive south. After all, we’d been there only a year before and on the same exact day. I know this because I was standingContinue reading “The way back”

All the news is too much news

A few days ago I realized it was all getting to be too much. News that is. Actually, to be more specific, news commentary. News I can handle. I follow current political events with major newspapers (both local and national) as well as general business, human interest, education and housing, etc. Local newspapers enrage meContinue reading “All the news is too much news”

School, revisited

When struggling for things to write about, there’s a topic that’s been off limits. I promised myself when the kids were younger and this site was new that I wouldn’t use their private lives as public content. Here and there I’ve shared some things, but most of the time I’ve kept the details of ofContinue reading “School, revisited”

Ghosts of Christmas past

I will admit to being stuck. Stuck in Christmas past, which — grief aside — has always been my “go to” place this time of the year. There’s something about the holiday that brings back vivid memories of childhood, even more so having watched the excitement and joy of my own two daughters that beginsContinue reading “Ghosts of Christmas past”

A life in 640 words

This past weekend I wrote my brother’s obituary. An obituary that he never would have wanted, but that we needed. This follows the personal tribute I wrote, which was more about what he meant to my life . Writing is always hard. But writing the summary of someone’s life, particularly when you are dealing withContinue reading “A life in 640 words”

A little sister’s tribute to her big brother

How do you capture the love you have for someone in words? Really convey what that person has meant to you and your life in all its form and complexities? Our family is not the traditional family. Somehow over the years we managed to let it fall apart, let the bonds that connected us witherContinue reading “A little sister’s tribute to her big brother”

Newest feature: Local podcast grows, an interview and download at a time

I just realized it’s been four months since I’ve written a feature. Finally over the hump! Phew. And here she is. I heard a quote on the radio the other day that really resonated with me and properly sums up my writing experience: “I hate to write, but I love having written.” Thank you toContinue reading “Newest feature: Local podcast grows, an interview and download at a time”

A certain view

Without fail, each time we spend more than a day in another place, I have the desire to move there. The highlight reel: I’ve opined about living in Pacifica and Monterey; Ipswich, Chatham, and Gloucester; Boulder and Nederland; Philadelphia, New York City, and Seattle. But Maine. That’s where I really sink my teeth in. TruliaContinue reading “A certain view”