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Essays by Karen Anderson

  • When I get to the waiting room at the Women’s Imaging Center, almost every seat is taken. “Looks like a full house,” I remark but no one answers. We are all waiting for mammograms and we are all a little tense.
  • When we adopted our cat, Rosie, we only knew that she had been a stray and was very shy. We soon learned that she was also very hungry. Hungry for anything we put in her bowl.
  • I find an old recipe box in the basement, a gift from my mother when I was in high school—and it’s full of the meals and menus I would need to be a good wife.
  • Richard Dalloway decides to tell his wife that he loves her. His decision is not spontaneous. His wife Clarissa has just had a visit from a former lover, a man she might have married instead of Richard.
  • Every Memorial Day, I plant a few annual flowers in a sunny corner of my back yard. It’s not much of a garden but the ritual nourishes me. When I put the zinnias and marigolds in the dirt, they’re so frail, it’s hard to believe they’ll survive.
  • On an early spring morning, my husband and I are paddling the Manistee River. The water is high this time of year and the air cold, but the sun feels warm on my back.
  • A while ago, I met a young reporter at Interlochen Public Radio and we became friends. At lunch one day, I asked about her plans for the future. I assumed she was on her way to a bigger station in a bigger city.
  • The calendar says April so I’m ready to trade in this winter coat for my spring jacket. My mother is not ready. “It’s only thirty degrees,” she says. “Wait a few weeks until it warms up”
  • Standing in the checkout line at the craft store, I am flooded with a sense of pleasure and anticipation—but it’s not about purchasing this bottle of glue. It’s about the display of new coloring books.
  • It’s my turn at the checkout counter and the clerk rings up my items. She’s courteous but not friendly and I don’t mind. It’s been a long day and I’m not especially friendly either.