How to Burn the Brussels Sprouts

First, make elaborate plans for them.  Choose them lovingly from the grocery store, imagining the slow drizzles of herb-infused oil over them.  Tell yourself that your children will eat them THIS time, because they’ve never tasted the amazing flavors you’re going to cook into them. At home, shove them under the lettuce in the bottom…

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Beneath “Fine”

“Fine!  I’m fine.  Everything’s fine.”  I shrugged at my husband.  He held a curious glance at me that weeknight while I shoved another load of laundry into the dryer.  Just then, an angry shriek from the girls’ room pierced the house like the ring in a bull’s nose.  I froze mid-load, back bowed, and braced…

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Running Hot

I was about 10 years old, I think. And I was in the backseat of our car, as it was flying down a country road in the middle of the night. Everything outside my window was pitch black, except for the beam of the headlights illuminating the yellow road reflectors as they whizzed up to…

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DishPan Hands: A Love Story

One morning, years ago, my fiance and I were driving on our way to look at wedding bands. I looked down at my bumpy knuckles and calloused palms while sitting beside him in the car.  I grimaced. “You’re marrying a girl with kind-of burly hands,” I sighed.  He looked over at them and smiled. “I’ve got a…

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The Fire: This Small Precious Time

You who live in Northern California, I have a question for you.  You, who has lived under the smoke and listened for evacuation orders: what details do you remember from these last few weeks of the fires? Now, here’s another question for the Mama’s: Do you remember your baby’s infancy?  What details do you remember?  The…

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Survivor’s Guilt

I ran away. I did not lose my house.  I was not in the mandatory evacuation zone.  Yet, after 4 days in the smoke, living just miles away from the flames destroying my town, I left.  I don’t wan’t to tell anyone that.  Mine was not a story of heroism.  But also, mine was not…

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