Nowhere … but Somewhere

AMTRAK DAY EIGHT November 28, 2014 I fall instantly in love with places. These eight days on the train I have given my heart to the mesquite-laden hills around Austin … the sun-drenched center of Forth Worth … Saint Louis’ sorrowful elegance the night after the non-indictment … a distant Illinois farm house friended on […]

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Travels (by Train) with Jane

“You always meet such nice people on the train,” said the man sitting next to me at lunch. The dining car followed the railroad tradition of community seating. The dining room attendant sat each person or party in order from the front of the car to the back, filling each table. So Mom and I […]

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A Garden for Drought

I am not one of those Midwest transports to Los Angeles that basks in the endless sun of summer (and fall and winter) and complains when the thermometer falls below 60. Though I remember the dire sadness of the 109th gray day in a row before spring, I need one every now and then. I […]

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Bicycle Kills Driver on Freeway

This is the headline that went through my mind yesterday afternoon as I watched a bicycle flying towards me on the freeway, moments after being jarred loose from a bike rack on the car ahead of me in the lane next to mine. It hit the pavement, and bounced in the unpredictable way you’d expect […]

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Road Trip

My two teenage sons and I started the summer with a road trip. A road trip of the sort that we all both dreaded and looked forward to at the same time. A trip across the entire United States … or at least most of it. Their dad and I had taken our two oldest […]

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A Search for A Place

Twenty-two years ago, I had just married, was graduating college, and on a search for a place to live. I imagined myself settling into family life and raising children in one place, wherever that place might be. Instead, I moved through six communities as I raised three children, went back to school, divorced and began […]

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Setting Roots

In honor of the five year anniversary of buying my house … Excerpt from Making Home: from the Sticks to LaLa-Land Once the wake of my divorce began smoothing out around me, I felt the need to anchor myself. I wanted to settle down. I wanted a home of my own. It had been five years […]

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Rain and Teenagers in Los Angeles

Los Angeles Deluge Part One You’ve probably heard, or been in, the rain this weekend. After months of no rain, we’ve had a deluge in Los Angeles. In a record low rainfall year – the last I heard was 3″ – we got that much in a 48-hour period. For Southern California, that’s a big […]

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The Nature of a School Landscape

Think back to your childhood school … what is the first image that pops into your head? I have two distinct memories of elementary school.​ One is of me swinging next to Katie Coffee on the big metal swing set the day after Jimmy Carter was elected President.​ The other is of a big maple […]

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What is Winter?

Last year I toured several environmentally focused schools to learn how innovative programs are addressing Nature Deficit Disorder: the growing issue of children (and adults) lacking enough access to nature and its restorative qualities. At one of the public elementary schools, remade with native gardens, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens, I sat in on an […]

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