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Essays by Karen Anderson

  • Behind the door in my office I kept a small corrugated box containing a Mary Poppins book, a coloring book, some crayons, and two stuffed animals.
  • When my sock sticks to the kitchen floor, I know it’s time—time to get down on my knees with a sponge.
  • Arriving at a campground, my husband and I usually set up the tent first and then head out in search of firewood.
  • What I remember most about my first elementary school is the small woods in the corner of the playground. I spent every recess wandering around under those trees, feeling protected by their leafy branches.
  • 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.
  • I was jogging in a Traverse City neighborhood recently when a woman in a shabby coat signaled me to stop. “Do you have some money for food?” she asked.
  • 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.