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Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is a writer who lives and works in Traverse City, Michigan. She was a columnist for the Traverse City Record-Eagle for 30 years and published two collections.

Since 2005, she has contributed weekly essays to Interlochen Public Radio. An illustrated collection of her essays was published in 2017, “Gradual Clearing: Weather Reports from the Heart.”

Karen has a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan and is retired from Northwestern Michigan College where she was director of marketing and public relations. She enjoys camping, canoeing, reading, writing, listening, learning.

  • I wear two wedding rings — a fat gold band on my left hand and a slim silver one on my right. The silver ring has a pattern of double hearts and belonged to my Great Aunt Ruth, who was my grandmother’s sister and the happiest member of our family.
  • I sit at the kitchen table with my husband before dinner. We’re drinking a beer and eating pretzels and talking about the day. And while we’re talking, I look over his shoulder out the window where gray-bellied clouds are moving across a blue sky.
  • Behind our old house, we have several tall Norway spruce trees which provide pleasant shade. They also keep grass from growing but a big patch of English ivy has thrived. Until last summer when I noticed a few brown spots. This year, half the patch was brown and I was alarmed.
  • Years ago, when I was writing a weekly column for the Traverse City Record-Eagle, I began receiving invitations to give speeches.
  • “Stand up straight,” my mother reminded me almost every day during my teen years.
  • I met Fred at a fraternity party, a big burly guy with a handsome face and deep voice.
  • My father grew up poor and was stingy all his life—even when he had money.
  • When my brother and I were almost grown up, our parents decided to take us on one last family trip.
  • My daughter is moving into her first apartment and we are cruising yard sales in search of dishes, silver, pots and pans. Up and down the streets on our bikes, we check out all the bargains and recheck our list.
  • When I walk across my back yard and encounter a squirrel, it runs up the nearest tree.“Don’t worry,” I want to tell the squirrel. “I mean you no harm.”