During the summertime our neighborhood has large dumpsters dropped in a line on the street. Part of a community clean up the dumpsters are filled by the end of the day. Mattresses, shrubbery, shoes, broken toys, couches, there is no end to what goes in. Over coffee I watch two men launch an old washing machine inside only hours later to see a scrapper pull it back out and load it into his truck. Being an avid recycler, this makes me smile.

There is something to be said about what we throw out in our lives. Most things come shiny, new, and relevant only to discolor, age, and no longer satisfy. Some things we discard are no longer welcome after the experience. This is perhaps a lover or a friend. Maybe this is an old book with torn edges you never liked the ending of. Still all things have worth when we find the meaning in them. The cycle of transitions is something to cherish. The running shoes I threw out were well past their prime, I kept with me endless hours of contemplation, sweat, endurance, and accomplishment. The lover long gone left with me much needed silence and a desire to see the ocean again. Save the transitions, keep them sacred they are what add up to equal all that is you.



Learning to Love Fabric

via Daily Prompt: Fabric

I learned to love fabric in my grandmother’s sewing room. There are special needles for every kind. Denim needles are sharp and thick, able to stitch through tough fabric over and over.

All fabric must be washed first. This is to make sure your cut pieces stay true to size.  Every seam must be pressed flat and neat. It’s the only time I use my iron.

Patterns are soft and fine like tissues. They are maps or a jig saw puzzle in paper that become head to to outfits in fabric.

Once she made blue polka dotted dresses for all the primary girls in the 4th of July Parade. Perfect for 8 year old girls to spin on a summer afternoon.

Yesterday I shopped the sale at the craft store. I wanted flannel for baby blankets to donate to the local children’s hospital.

I found 70’s style cotton in all kinds of pinks. They remind me of the summer blouses she made for me growing up. I think I’ll make a lap quilt to keep her warm when the desert nights get cool.

I learned to love fabric in my grandmother’s sewing room, the way her hands were sure and knowing. The way she taught me you could make a 3D world from a flat bolt of  individual strings woven together to make a whole.

At the Market

via Daily Prompt: Messy

Dragging on her boots and jacket, she wrapped her long curls into a messy half bun and shoved them inside her hood. Grabbing her book she headed out the door to the corner market, the kind with a coffee shop nestled in the corner.

Her love for espresso brought her early.  From her window seat in the corner of the corner, the sun would rise on her back. The deep warm rays becoming clean lines around her.

Twice this week she noticed him watching her. But it had been three times he had come to admire her against the window. He wanted to ask her name, offer her another espresso. Instead he only imagined the exchange.

As the sun warmed the coffee shop, she began coming her fingers through her hair. He turned to the side thinking how life was tangled just like her curls. The joke they’d make later about how they became knotted together. They would become friends first and then all at once become lovers sharing poetry and walks to the market.

A moment too late he stood.

She was gone just like the words he’d left  unspoken.





Today I ordered test prep books for graduate school

In the last four days I have walked at commencement and attended my daughters college orientation.

In this moment our lives are parallel except for generational outlook. She has all the time in the world, I am certain I can arrange what I have left

Each decade I think I have it figured out only to realize the losses feel greater and time feels shorter

I started running again this morning after one tiny foot bone cracked during an ankle sprain.  I’ve been on the sideline for weeks.

I was feeling pretty good until the Facebook name game ended with my looks fading but my spirit shining through.

Tomorrow I have an interview for a job I will hate as much as the one I already have. Is it coincidence that I cut all my hair and gained twenty pounds in the months leading up to this?



Goat cheese and honey

My friend in the backwoods of the Bitterroot Valley raises goats

She collects their milk and and creates the most beautiful soaps

Once she invited me for breakfast feeding me goat cheese on crackers with honey

It tasted like Edible sunshine

Thick yet creamy, sharp and smooth all at once

Via The Daily Post

On the train to Albany

On Friday, I rode a train along the Hudson from Penn Station to Albany

It reminded me of the tile back splash in my first apartment, even ten tiles a blue steam engine

It rained on Friday in New York making the sky a gray backdrop against the water and trees

I’m a desert rat all this water seems unnatural to me. At home the color scheme in July is yellow, brown, and thirsty.

I passed mile after mile of sweeping green landscape, trees glutenous full of water, enough leftover to create pretentious marshes along the river.

I knew I should savor the view, take in the beauty and appreciate the different landscape. Mostly I considered the contrast of desert beauty how harshness can be beautiful to.


On Relationships

I was running along the canal practicing race pace when my phone rang. I don’t get phone calls so I assumed the worse and slowed to answer it.

It was my mother sobbing, something about her mother forcing her to move out and her having nowhere to take her dog. She was always out of reach growing up. We’ve only been friends once during my lifetime, when my oldest children were young.

While she cried and threatened to live in only a tent and freeze to death, I remembered my Runkeeper was still on. I was never getting this ten minutes back literally, or figuratively.

I told my older daughter later that day, only half serious when I said freezing to death would be two birds, one stone. She gave a deep sigh and called me Savage. I tell my husband that she is like a stove missing the indicator light. You just never know when you are setting yourself up for a burn. Better to just leave the kitchen.

I woke up the next day thinking about her sad weeping, how she told me she didn’t understand why she could never have a relationship with her mother.

My response before she hung up being, “Yep, I wouldn’t know anything about that…”

Via The Daily Post

Bamboo and Metal

My back patio under the eaves, a large hammock with palm trees

My cat just out of suns reach lies fat with significance

Two wind chimes compete in the slow sultry breeze

One the deep hollow song of bamboo

One a light gypsy sound of metal and silver

My cats tail twitches to the jangle of chimes,

Like the time keeper of summer afternoons.

via Daily Prompt: Jangle

The tethers we chose

After I watched the Challenger blow up on live television in fourth grade I gave up my dream of being an astronaut. I still craved a life that would be  solitary so I decided instead it was best to be a philosopher and write poetry from the back woods of Maine. This dream held me clear through high school.

I’ve never been to Maine, instead at nineteen I took up a lover expecting only a temporary exchange of time and place. Two decades later he still makes the coffee in the morning and breakfast. I left the idea of being solitary, and instead tethered myself to him. In the early years we talked of living without children and travel. Somehow that turned into two daughters, and three sons, each of them chosen and planned for.

I still crave the quiet which is near impossible with young sons, but I have come to see how temporary things are. We have lived several lifetimes, in several cities. We talk of the next decade when the children will be gone and what a small space the two of us could be happy in. After a long stint in the big sky country neither of us want to go to Maine and that’s okay. Any zip code works for wondering why and digging answers out of poetry.

via Daily Prompt: Tether


The window spider – plucking fruit flies from the air

via Daily Prompt: Pluck

When I was nine, the boys in the neighborhood dared me to pull the legs from a daddy long leg. Being the only girl in the group I just had to, and then I had no choice but to kill him. I cried for a week, for years after I caught all the spiders I could inside to “free” them outside. I feel like I have been called as the the Lorax for spiders, always cautioning people that they want spiders in their life.

Last year a plague of fruit flies came to my house. We set out wine glasses stretched tight with saran wrap and poked an indented hole in the center, Google heralded this as the DIY solution. They worked for the most part but the plague ran deep. About three days in I was washing dishes when to my surprise a jumping spider crawled out from the window. I watched in amazement as he reached out to pluck a fruit fly from the air. From the window really but it being transparent made it seem like he snatched it from nowhere. Being a biologist I told him he could stay with the understanding that only the window would be his sanctuary, if he was caught outside he was likely to be squashed.

The flies slowly died out and left, and again washing dishes I look up to see a much larger spider emerge from the window. Fat on fruit flies, I applauded his accomplishments and brought everyone in the house to see how big he had become. I wanted them to recognize him moving forward so he could live. As the summer progressed we watched him catch full grown flies. He could leave the window safely and my tribe would warn the house if he was sighted on the sugar bowl or the knife block to make sure no one smashed him.

This year another small spider appeared. We all gathered to look at his markings, my tribe now a fan of window spiders. But this was a cocky spider, he didn’t heed my warning to stay safe in the window. Doing dishes I found him soggy under plate. I decided to pluck him out with a fork and lay him on a napkin to dry in the sun. He didn’t make it, I kept him there for almost a week not having the heart to move him.