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”

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”

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)”

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 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”

12

When I first started this blog and was trying to figure out what I’d fill it with (still working on that), I briefly thought of making it parenting-related since that’s been the major focus of my life for the past 12 years. But then I started thinking that the stories of my kids weren’t reallyContinue reading “12”

48 hours in NYC

I try not to spend too much time in the Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda neighborhood, but sometimes you end up there by accident, before you can roll up the windows, lock the doors, and speed away. A recent and too short trip to New York City found me there, as family stroll brought us from TheContinue reading “48 hours in NYC”

Printed, matted, and framed

I hadn’t stopped to think how big 12″x18″ would really be when I placed a printing order last week for two of my photographs. Now that they are matted and framed, however, I’m pleasantly surprised to see that they’ve taken up the entire gallery wall outside of my studio. There are probably upwards of 45,000 digital images on my computer.Continue reading “Printed, matted, and framed”

Studio 301: An Introduction

In retrospect, it was probably for the best that my laptop’s WiFi connection didn’t work for most of the time I was at the studio on my first day. The absence of Twitter forced me out of my new hidey hole and I slowly discovered the environment of the third floor. First stop was the women’s bathroom where I admiredContinue reading “Studio 301: An Introduction”

All politics is local

When I moved back to Massachusetts nearly five years ago, I discovered volunteerism. I was 42 and had somehow made it that far in life without anyone ever asking me to be directly involved in a cause or an organization. I don’t know what that says about me, but I think that sometimes it’s best not to ruminateContinue reading “All politics is local”

A writing studio

Last week I signed the lease on a 285 square foot art studio on the third floor of a refurbished mill building in Lowell. I move into my new writing space on April 1. Perhaps the joke is on me. The idea of renting a studio for writing came out of nowhere. One day I remembered the building fromContinue reading “A writing studio”

The City of Spindles

Sometimes when you live near history, you take it for granted. I was reminded of that during February vacation when I took the kids to the Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell. Growing up in Massachusetts, I was aware of the various mills in the state and the company towns that formed around them. It’s also hard toContinue reading “The City of Spindles”

Dance like nobody’s watching at Carlisle’s Friday Night Live

by Karina Coombs Brother and sister act at last month’s FNL. (Photo by Parissa Khayami) [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] If you are in middle school and looking for a fun Friday night, Carlisle’s hottest club is FNL. Located in the gym and exercise room at the Carlisle Public School (CPS), andContinue reading “Dance like nobody’s watching at Carlisle’s Friday Night Live”

Why I write for the Mosquito

by Karina Coombs [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] It’s not often that you get a chance to  reinvent yourself and when it happens in your mid-40s, and you thought those chances had all but passed, you take it. Newly arrived in Carlisle, I first met the Mosquito’s General Manager Susan EmmonsContinue reading “Why I write for the Mosquito”

Nature and technology meet at Gleason’s newest art show

by Karina Coombs   A series of ceramic scrolls from Bedford artist Carol Rissman. Rissman makes each tile from white or red clay before imprinting or stamping them with natural found objects. Pieces are then fired and stained. Tiles are selected individually for each scroll and mounted on a wooden backing. (Photo by Karina Coombs)Continue reading “Nature and technology meet at Gleason’s newest art show”

Women Who Will

I stayed up as long as I could this morning, but in the end I made myself go to sleep knowing what we would all learn eventually and trying to figure out a way to explain this to my daughters. They went to sleep thinking they would wake up to a bold new day: theContinue reading “Women Who Will”

Pineapples

[NOTE: My kids and I started a summer writing challenge: using a word or general theme to create some piece of writing each week. My 10-year-old suggested, “pineapple” and the following is my contribution.] Wendy didn’t remember when it started. She only knew the story, one that her family liked to tell to just aboutContinue reading “Pineapples”

HitchBOT visits Carlisle

After two plus months of summertime fun, I got back to work. Here’s my latest feature (also found here). (Photo by Tracy McArdle Brady) HitchBOT visits Carlisle and humans learn a lesson by Karina Coombs This past July, Tracy McArdle Brady and her family took part in a social experiment that was followed by fans,Continue reading “HitchBOT visits Carlisle”