Friday, November 29, 2013


     It wasn't the deep-fried turkey that did it. Nor was it the cornbread stuffing, potatoes or gravy. And the pecan rugelach and chocolates went down easily enough. But afterward, when the feasting was over and the dishes were washed, as she battled the electric powers of young superheroes Flash and Misty in the basement, it suddenly occurred to her: Tentacle Woman needs a Tums.

illustration by Omar Rayyan  

Thursday, November 28, 2013


     I won't be chasing turkeys this year. I won't be washing, brining, stuffing or roasting any either. My hands smell of clementines and cinnamon instead of garlic, sage and rosemary. I was not up late last night pressing linens or setting tables. I made sweet rolls for breakfast this morning.

     Our daughter and son-in-law are hosting Thanksgiving in their home this year. On the menu is a turkey for the deep fryer and a turkey for the oven. We will have more than enough for our Thanksgiving feast. The Giver of all good things has been good to us.   

     We are deeply grateful for our plenitude.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Color Me Autumn

     My favorite color is green. Definitely and irrevocably green. Many years ago, when I asked my husband what his favorite color was he said it was autumn. I like this guy who thinks outside the crayon box.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lone Leaf

     This lonely birch leaf, loosed by the rain and launched by the wind, settled on the skylight of my bathroom window to watch me brush my teeth.

     Leaves live so briefly and in such crowded company they do not understand the notions of personal space or privacy.

Monday, November 4, 2013


     My mother took a botany class in college and became a self-styled naturalist. After we had all left home and started families of our own, she became a docent for the Snake Lake Nature Center. Mom enjoyed taking her grandchildren on walks around the lake, pointing out wildlife and teaching them the names of plants. She often quoted the old adage: leaves of three leave them be, to warn us away from poison ivy, and taught us how to identify deadly nightshade.

     One day as she was leading two of my nephews along a path through the wooded wetlands, she plucked a leaf from a plant, popped it in her mouth and began to chew. “Nettles,” she announced happily, “you can eat nettles.” Then her expression suddenly changed to one of growing alarm. “Wait…mah tong ith goin num!” Poor Mom, either she didn’t know or had forgotten that, while stinging nettles are edible, they must first be cooked or soaked in water in order to remove the plant chemical that makes them sting.

We miss our Mom.