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ON MY SOAPBOX: Hit and Run

Driving home tonight I passed two skunks, a porcupine, and a raccoon, all dead. Squashed in the road and left to be food for crows. Every day and night animals are killed by cars. You know, you see them: squirrels, woodchucks, skunks, opossums, raccoons, cats, dogs, birds, deer – they seem […]

Finding the Old Oak: A Love Story

Barbed wire pierced the trunk, bark having grown up and around it, becoming a part of the tree itself. Roots as wide as my arms and legs tumbled down into and ran among the gray stones. It was hard to tell where the tree started and the wall began. At that point, it didn’t really seem to matter: They were one, the wall and the tree, as they had been for a century…

The Madonna and me

Many years ago my father took a trip to northern Italy, his mother’s birthplace. My tiny Italian grandmother had arrived in America on a boat, accompanying her new husband after World War I. They settled in my grandfather’s hometown just west of the Missouri river and, as far as I […]


I miss the ocean: The pounding, hypnotic rhythm of the waves; the tangy smell of the salt air; and the feeling of being so very, very small. Between the rain and snow, I can look out the window and find water almost everywhere right now. But it just isn’t quite the […]