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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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • “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.
  • When my first granddaughter was born, I was so excited. “I can’t wait to meet her,” I told my counselor. “To welcome her into the world.” He nodded and said, “It’s a lifetime commitment, you know.”
  • In the Traverse City area, the issue of homelessness has been in the news lately. I am reminded of a book I read several years ago called “The Death of Vishnu.”
  • I have read that by the time people reach old age, they tell their life stories in one of two ways: