Category: Essays

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 ruminate

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Ladies Who Lunch

I hate most social gatherings that involve casual acquaintances or strangers.  Parties are awful and large school or work-related events are the worst.  Dinner parties are at most tolerable because of the ability to sit and eat.  Lunches?  Hit or miss. The other day I was reminded why I’m probably not invited to a lot

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Summertime Fun

This is the first July in many years that has truly felt like summer to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m now almost working and getting a break from my job makes me appreciate down time more than in years past. Or perhaps it’s because our kids are getting old enough that we can go out

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Out of the Mouth of Babes

Burlington, MA Mall Advertisement Ben and I went to the local mall yesterday to pick up some summer clothes for our almost 8 year old daughter: shorts, t-shirts, etc. Thankfully she could really care less about most clothing so long as it is cotton, has an elastic waist, and preferably contains an image of a

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For the Love of Snow!

I’m sitting at my desk procrastinating and looking out the window at the snow. It just fell last night so it’s still white and fresh and there aren’t too many tracks through it, aside from our dog and the various woodland creatures that call our back meadow home. We only received a couple of inches,

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Golden Delicious

I don’t know the exact moment when I became a dog person. It certainly didn’t happen right away when we got our Golden Retriever. She was a very cute puppy and much adored, but since she was also a lot of work her cuteness was overlooked sometimes from sheer exhaustion or simply because it was

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The Yankee Swap Shed

When we first moved to town there were two places people repeatedly asked us if we had visited: Kimball Farm’s Ice Cream or the Swap Shed. We were quick to say that we had visited Kimball’s numerous times and indulged in their mouth wateringly delicious ice cream. The lines never seemed to slow as we

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Living in a Winter Wonderland

It’s winter in Massachusetts. The air is cold and damp and the ground is constantly squishy from the disappearing and reappearing frosts each morning or the frequent drizzle. We finally paid someone to clear the leaf, stick, and tree debris from the pre-Halloween hurricane. A task I finally had to admit I was incapable of

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A New England Halloween

Halloween came and went and the kids managed to make the most of it even though the lack of neighborhoods, sidewalks, and street lamps prevented neighborly trick or treating. We put them in the car and drove the mile or so to the center of town to enjoy organized trick or treating on sidewalks that

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Foliage Schmoliage

The weather is turning cooler, the afternoons are getting darker, and I suddenly find myself craving flavored lattes – those embarrassingly delicious abominations from Starbucks layered with whipped cream and nutmeg.  No other time of year would I think about pumpkin or gingerbread-flavored coffee as a must-have or even a must-maybe.  It’s October in New

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Walking the Plank

Floorboard

Apparently, in an old house there is a lot of settling.  And I don’t mean settling for inefficient electricity and heat, non-existent closet space, or chimney labyrinths that evade safety lining.  The house itself has clearly shifted around over its many centuries of existence.  One of my many fantasies involving the purchase of this house

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Circuit Breaker

Basement door

A few nights ago, when the temperature dropped into the low to mid-40s, Ben tripped a circuit breaker after plugging in a small space heater in one of the bedrooms.  The girls were in the tub and the entire new addition of the house went dark.  There was much screaming and splashing of water.  We

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Hidey Hole

Today I decided to finally brave the debris in the cellar hole.  Last week I gave our landlord – and our neighbor – the medicine bottle I found during a 10 minute search of the ground outside of the hole.  I assumed there were so many treasures to be found that I should part with one

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Autumn Pumpkin Seed and Local Free-Range Rodent Roast

GE Stove

We have a mouse in our oven.  Rather, we had a mouse in our oven.  It expired from unnatural causes.  Specifically, the mouse seems to have been electrocuted when I activated the broiler a few days ago.  Chewed wires caused a short to the broiler which extinguished the mouse, which caused some of the stove

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Colonial Cellar Hole

Colonial Cellar Hole

We live in an almost 300 year old house on a pretty busy two lane road.  While the speed limit is 25 MPH and the road twists and turns with multiple blind spots, cars and trucks race by quite often.  So when I’m walking the dog along the non-existant shoulder of this two lane death road,

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Twenty Minutes Away

Local church, town meeting house, and school It’s a phrase I think to myself throughout the day: twenty minutes away.  As in, grocery store.  Twenty minutes away.  Starbucks.  Twenty minutes away. Take-out.  Twenty minutes away.  Gas station.  Twenty minutes away.  Target. Twenty minutes away.  Shopping mall.  Twenty minutes away.  I find myself trying to gauge just

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Bathtub Mary (or Mary on the Half Shell)

Photo from Wikipedia entry, “Bathtub Mary. I drove to Waltham today to get a new Brownies uniform.  The troop has decided to go with just the vest which disappoints me greatly because I do love a good costume on a kid.  Every activity I’ve ever volunteered to sign the girls up for required special attire:

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