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”

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”

Writer’s Brain

I have a really bad memory. This wasn’t always the case, but as I get older it gets worse and worse. Of course I remember all the horrible things that have happened to me over the years. That stuff never seems to go away except for maybe secondary school memories. I have nicely blocked outContinue reading “Writer’s Brain”

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 lotContinue reading “Ladies Who Lunch”

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 outContinue reading “Summertime Fun”

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 aContinue reading “Out of the Mouth of Babes”

Race to the Top

Annual School Halloween Parade “Of course a more expensive house seems nicer. It is nicer! If you look at houses you cannot afford, you will never be satisfied with the house you actually can afford,” said my father, using his 30+ years in real estate to provide me with one of his best wisdom nuggets,Continue reading “Race to the Top”

Panic at the Hair Salon

While I know it is a common thing to do, I have never referred to any of my pets as my “children” or myself as their “mother.” I’ve encountered plenty of people that say, “This is my baby so and so” while pointing to a cat or a dog and smiling. And I’ve always foundContinue reading “Panic at the Hair Salon”

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,Continue reading “For the Love of Snow!”

Golden Delicious

NOTE: This sweet girl unexpectedly passed away on Christmas night a few weeks ago. Her loss has hit us very hard and I’m reminded of how much we shared during our 9 years together. I don’t know the exact moment when I became a dog person. It certainly didn’t happen right away when we gotContinue reading “Golden Delicious”

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 weContinue reading “The Yankee Swap Shed”

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 ofContinue reading “Living in a Winter Wonderland”

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 thatContinue reading “A New England Halloween”

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 NewContinue reading “Foliage Schmoliage”

Walking the Plank

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 houseContinue reading “Walking the Plank”

Circuit Breaker

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.  WeContinue reading “Circuit Breaker”

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 oneContinue reading “Hidey Hole”

Autumn Pumpkin Seed and Local Free-Range Rodent Roast

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 stoveContinue reading “Autumn Pumpkin Seed and Local Free-Range Rodent Roast”

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,Continue reading “Colonial Cellar Hole”

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 justContinue reading “Twenty Minutes Away”