Autumn is Here

The Next-door Treat Map is back. Trunk-or-Treat will park on Hughson Ave on October 29. The Hughson Arboretum is holding its first Fall Festival on November 6. We’ll go there after stopping at Vintage at the Yard. The Community Thanksgiving Dinner is handing out Thanksgiving meals on November 13. We learned some ways to copeContinue reading “Autumn is Here”

Reflections on Marriage and Henry James’ “The Golden Bowl”

Can an outsider break this bond? The Golden Bowl by Henry James is unlike anything I have ever read. It feels like an academic read, the kind you read in graduate school, challenging, brilliant, and long. It centers around four main characters whose lives are tangled together as they sort through their relationships to liveContinue reading “Reflections on Marriage and Henry James’ “The Golden Bowl””

When the Garden is Good

Gardening came with home-owning. Growing flowers came as therapy. A flower is a piece of art. A bouquet is a collection of art pieces, arranged to showcase the beauty of the feature star. With our new home came new possibilities. It was difficult to keep the sprinklers running without their getting clogged. Perennial, drought-tolerant plantsContinue reading “When the Garden is Good”


One more Flannery O’Connor column before my thoughts turn back to “The Golden Bowl” by Henry James. For book club, we carefully navigated the waters of Flannery O’Connor’s short story “Revelation.” Lacking the violence of other stories, the story works better for group reading. The main character Mrs. Ruby Turpin spends the majority of theContinue reading “Revelation”

The Shock and Value of Flannery O’Connor

Works by Flannery O’Connor are not difficult to read in the way that works by Russian authors or Henry James are difficult to read. They are difficult to read in that O’Connor held that because midcentury men and women had seen incredible things, they were harder to impress and wake up out of the doldrumsContinue reading “The Shock and Value of Flannery O’Connor”

Feel like your failing? There’s a point to that asking if you are.

It all begins with the question, not the assumption. The assumption lowers us, locks us in, and stagnates us. The question, though painful at times, opens us up. Had I not been questioning myself this month, would I have noticed how surrounded by gifts I am?

Draw Back to the Garden

Motherhood is work. And work is play Until the demands of my duty Fill the hours of the day Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeralContinue reading “Draw Back to the Garden”