The Big Trees

Two-thirty in the morning, awake, paralyzed with pain. I turned on the TV for distraction. Counting the minutes until my next morphine dose. This went badly. Me: Hey it’s been four hours since my last dose, can I have my morphine now? Nurse: I already gave you your morphine. You need to wait four more … Continue reading The Big Trees

Fragility

Pattern in sand left by thirty to forty mile per hour winds  -- Jeff, are you OK driving? Is the drop-off too steep? -- Dad, you’re really off balance, are you good? -- Jeff, did you eat enough for this hike? -- Dad, are you still feeling dizzy? -- Jeff, be careful, don’t touch that … Continue reading Fragility

Puzzles

Horse puzzles, she loved them. Early on, she worked a twenty-four-piece wooden job by Mellissa & Doug. A country scene, brightly colored—a horse-drawn apple cart, a big red barn, bright green trees and a yellow hay bale. A Clydesdale effortlessly pulls the cart to market. She dumped the puzzle on the carpet and stirred the … Continue reading Puzzles

My Fix

I bought M&Ms at lunch today—Peanut M&Ms, my long-time favorite… at least until a couple of years ago. Like all familiar products from my childhood, Mars added options, lots of options. I think the idea is to flood shelf space with M&Ms and leave less room for Reese’s Pieces. Let me introduce you to the … Continue reading My Fix

I Can Ride That

I stress about what I write. Not the topics, but the word count, the frequency, the quality. I lie—I stress about the topics, too. I joined a writers' group on Facebook—Authors with Tourette Syndrome. “Authors.” Stretching? Aspirational? I'm more comfortable with the generic term writer. Author implies output, something published. That's not me, barely. I … Continue reading I Can Ride That

Brood X

The entomologists call them Brood X—the United States' east coast seventeen-year cicadas. The name appeals to me, reminiscent of a late-seventies punk band. Each generation emerges from deep underground, molts, mates, lays eggs and then dies. Their path to sexual maturity extending longer than even humans. Their bizarre life-span leaves them without an obvious predator. … Continue reading Brood X