empty nest

deep and quiet is a long love

January 17, 2017
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“I spent an hour and a half cleaning out the fireplace,” I say to my husband of 29 years so he would know that I cared about our anniversary dinner. I want his memories of me to be slathered with the scent of my perfume and the smoke of the many fires we’ve sat around. […]

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food: fuel or nurturance?

January 7, 2017
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Does food preparation at your house feel tender and nurturing or like a slog through wet cement? This holiday season I was struck by the distinction of food as fuel and food that deeply satisfies. My daughter took hold of an avocado smashed it, added salsa, lime and salt. I couldn’t get enough. I warm […]

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a longing for christmas connection takes flight

December 24, 2016
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“If I’d known it was going to be this much fun, I wouldn’t have cried so hard when the kids left!” says my husband as we Christmas shop and lunch. I throw my head back with laughter. Then, instantly, a pain of guilt shoots through me, I’d never want the kids to hear us say […]

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hide and seek with my dog and the moon

December 19, 2016
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There is a ritual to buckling on skis. If you don’t fully open the binding, there is no amount of forcing that will allow your foot to catch and hold. Good life lesson: open first. It’s what marriage and my dog both have taught me to do. I buckled on my skis, and took a […]

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how do you rest?

December 6, 2016
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All weekend we are in the same room, but we hardly exchange a word. It is the most romantic Thanksgiving holiday of my life. David has the turkey smoking on the BBQ and I am cleaning the bathroom when I hear her boots clicking down the hallway. Our daughter, Kaitlin, arrives from Salt Lake City. […]

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expectations almost ripped away the joy of my vacation

November 27, 2016
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Expectations are joy killers. It’s so much better to have no idea what will happen and let a situation unfold. But I suck at that. I expect at every turn. It is my birthday. Joy leaks out of me like a balloon with a pinhole and I’m frantically searching for a piece of duct tape […]

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vegetarian or hunter? comparing yourself at the dinner table

October 10, 2016
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It was bloody when my children were growing up, and there were tears. My children fought about food and kept my kitchen tense for years. They were finding their way in life, doing that sacred tango of emancipation like all kids do. My daughter is a strict vegetarian. My son is a bow hunter. I […]

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the middle place: love, death and memories

September 26, 2016
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The aspen leaves are only yellow for a short time. I want to be there for it. This was my first thought. Second thought: Let’s take Yedder, my dog who has kept me company for 13 years on my 45-minute walks. A piece of me hesitated. She’s old these days, and, when I get to […]

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the vacation of kids coming home

September 6, 2015
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My children are my true companions. I can say this now. It wasn’t always true. There was a time I envied hours of simply running to the grocery store without them, because they were cling-ons, not companions. I tried to carve out our happiness, however. There were many trips to many stores through many years, […]

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dropped money, kale salad for hundreds, and a mother’s happiness

May 31, 2015
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Cleaning up what I thought was trash on our lawn, my husband found a check for $182. “I think that check fell out of my purse as I was headed to the bank,” I told him. The last time my life was this full of stress I lost the title to our car. That was […]

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motherhood: shoe battles and dirt digging triumphs

May 11, 2015
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The first 6 weeks of motherhood I found I could do little but stare at my baby. I had labored for 2 ½ days, desperately falling asleep between contractions at the end. I remember the brightness of the noonday sun on my forehead and thinking, when did it become so boldly day? That’s when my […]

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