writers and writing

Essay: Gift Box

Jan 23, 2020

 

Essay: Bad Boss

Dec 27, 2019

He might have been the worst boss I ever had. I’ll call him Roy and he could have been a giftedleader. 


Essay: Manger Scene

Dec 20, 2019

Every year just before Christmas, my grandfather invited me to help him set up the manger sceneon his fireplace mantel.

Essay: Anonymous

Dec 13, 2019

When I came to Traverse City from Chicago in 1970, I didn’t plan to stay. I was young andsingle and couldn’t imagine living in such a small town where everybody knew everybody. Iliked being anonymous in a big city, the sense of freedom and possibility.

Essay: Rude Driver

Nov 29, 2019

It’s early morning and I’m driving the speed limit on a two-lane highway, feeling relaxed and grateful for the lovely weather.  Then a guy in a pick-up truck appears behind me, hugging my bumper and crowding me with his impatience.

Unable to wait, he finally roars past me on a curve and I shake my head.  What’s the big hurry? I wonder, my mood of peacefulness replaced by fear and anger.

Essay: Perfect Features

Oct 25, 2019

When I was fourteen, I decided that my nose was funny looking.  Juggling two mirrors, I would examine my profile—and there it was:  plain as the funny-looking nose on my face. 

Not a movie star nose but a little tipped-up number with no dignity or elegance.  How humiliating.  So, during most of my ninth grade year I sat in class with my finger holding down the end of my nose.  I don’t know whether anyone noticed this odd behavior.

Essay: Morning Despair

Oct 18, 2019

On some mornings, I roll out of bed wondering why bother?  Everything seems useless or scary or overwhelming.  Maybe I should just give it up and pull the covers over my head.  “Existential despair,” a counselor called it once.  Anxiety about the purpose of life.

Essay: Half-Done Bacon

Oct 11, 2019

Every morning my father fixes his own breakfast.  When I arrive at the kitchen table, he is already standing at the stove in a white apron, taking orders.

“Anyone want bacon?” he asks.  “Eggs?”

My brother and I always refuse, not liking Dad’s undercooked bacon or the way he makes the eggs.  He calls them “scrambled” but he just cracks them on the grill and stirs them around a little—leaving jiggly patches of raw egg whites.

“I’ll have one piece of bacon,” Mom says and puts it on top of her toast.

Essay: Greta

Oct 4, 2019

Years ago while at a conference in a big city, I purchased a teddy bear for my young daughter which she named Greta.  She was a particularly charming bear, I thought, with soft brown fur and deep brown eyes, and she soon accompanied us everywhere, riding in grocery carts and sitting at the table in a high chair.

Essay: Gift Certificates

Sep 27, 2019

A while ago, my husband gave me a gift certificate to one of my favorite restaurants, a little hole-in-the-wall place called the Blue Heron in Traverse City.  They served the most remarkable food—elegant salads and hearty breakfasts—and I loved going there with friends, installing ourselves in a cozy booth and taking our time.


Essay: Clothes Pins

Sep 20, 2019

On a bright summer morning, I walk out to the back yard and hang my towel on the line.  Then, in a moment of gratitude, I stop to consider the clothes pin.  It’s just two pieces of wood in a coil of wire—but how efficient!  How simple and elegant and endlessly useful!


Essay: Child Abuse

Sep 13, 2019

Before I became a parent, I was sure that people who abused their children were other kinds of people.  I couldn’t imagine harming a child and was confident I never would.


Essay: Pretty Stones

Sep 6, 2019

My husband and I are walking along a Lake Michigan shoreline, listening to the waves and leaning into the wind.  Mostly we’re here for the beauty and the exercise, but I can’t resist glancing down from time to time—looking for beach stones.


Essay: Bad Day

Aug 30, 2019

I don’t even notice that I’m getting out of bed on the wrong side until I grab for my socks and shove my toe into the heel.  And I wonder whether I should climb right back in and call it a day… a bad day.


Essay: Circle of Light

Jan 4, 2019

I am walking in my neighborhood on a winter day and see a mother pulling a small child on a sled. As they cross the street, the sled bounces down a curb and suddenly I feel the jolt and it is my mittened hands gripping the wooden frame.