Personal Narrative

In Praise of Puffy Clouds

In Praise of Puffy Clouds

We’ve got some famously blue skies here thanks to Perry Como (well, to be precise, right across the water from my own “here”). We don’t seem the bluest blue all that often, but when we finally do, it’s glorious. I actually have another song running through my mind whenever our skies look like this. Way […]

Where the Gray Wolf & Dungeness Rivers Meet

Where the Gray Wolf & Dungeness Rivers Meet

My sisters and I spent more than a few of our childhood weekends hiking in the Olympics and Cascades, cajoled along the trails by my mother’s no-nonsense one-step-at-a-time advice and her chocolate chip-studded trail mix. Now it’s my turn to drag my own kids out of the house to explore these forests and mountains. It’s […]

There’s Magic in Small Parks: Rockaway Beach

There’s Magic in Small Parks: Rockaway Beach

There is a tiny beach on our island that I’ve been in love with for years. I managed to grow up here without discovering Rockaway Beach until my high school marine biology teacher took us there on a field trip during a low spring tide. I couldn’t believe such a place existed on “my” island, […]

Doors & Windows of Fort Worden

Doors & Windows of Fort Worden

There’s a series of old military forts around here, remnants of a “triangle of fire” meant to protect the entrance of Puget Sound from enemy ships. Construction started on these forts in 1896, but by the time my sister and I started visiting them in the early 1970’s, they were deserted, the perfect setting for […]

In Praise of Turkish Towel Seaweed

In Praise of Turkish Towel Seaweed

This past weekend, the stones along the wrack zone of my favorite local beach were draped with one of my favorite seaweeds, Turkish Towel, Gigartina exasperata. I’ve been in love with seaweeds since middle school, when my friend Vicki and I collected and pressed local seaweeds for a science class project. Fanning the specimens out […]

Thoughts on World Autism Acceptance Day

Thoughts on World Autism Acceptance Day

I have two children, one who has been diagnosed on the autism spectrum and one who hasn’t. I love them both with every fiber of my being, and I wouldn’t change either of them for anything. There are days when I fail horribly at being even a good enough parent for them, days when I […]

Love, Death, and Single Motherhood

Love, Death, and Single Motherhood

Four years ago this week, I became a single mother. For that first year, I felt hopeful. I believed in love, I believed that the silver lining of the upheaval and heartbreak that had cracked my life, and my kids’ lives, into pieces was that I would find love, the sort of love my heart […]