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Karen Anderson

  • In the back of my closet I keep a bag for Goodwill so that it is immediately available to receive items I no longer need.
  • At the service center, I ask a young man for help with my smartphone. He shrugs, as if it were nothing.
  • I exit the car wash and steer my dripping Jeep toward the young man who’s going to towel it off. Most of the time, this last step is done quickly and without enthusiasm, but today is different.
  • A friend is telling me what she eats for breakfast. “Oatmeal,” she says, “with cranberries and walnuts and raisins and flax seeds.”“Sounds healthy,” I say, thinking about my oatmeal which is just oatmeal.
  • When we begin paddling, the wind is at our back and we float easily through the deepwoods. But soon the Betsie River widens out into a vast marsh where the current zigsand zags among the cattails.
  • When I was a kid, our family sometimes vacationed in Traverse City where we stayed in little cabins by the bay. Every night before dinner, my parents and a few friends would gather for cocktails.
  • “How about the roller coaster?” my father says but I shake my head. “I want to go on the carousel,” I say and Dad frowns, wishing his daughter was more adventurous. “I need to ride a brown horse because nobody picks the brown ones.”
  • Summer camp was not my idea; it was my mother’s. I didn’t see how a church camp could possibly be fun, especially with a name like “Pilgrim Haven,” but I agreed to go.