What a nine-year-old thinks of the opera

The rain came down steadily as we rushed out to the van, ready to pick up her friend and arrive in time to park and walk to the historic State Theater in Modesto for an event combining two great loves of mine: opera and literature. Though I dared not hand

Top Book Picks from 2019

I’m not sure how it happened. We moved to the country. The children lived outdoors in the summer. And I read. I sat my pregnant body on the couch every nap time at noon and read. I snuggled in the covers when the kids protested bedtime in their beds at

Four Simple Questions for 2020

Make your life perfect in 2020 or they say in a thousand little iterations this time of year. I am home and online enough to read their variety. Why not jump on the bandwagon? Join a reading challenge. Make a book list. Exercise goals. Career goals. Family goals. Bucket list

2020 Resolutions: Lemon trees, the present moment, and change

By all accounts, the world kept turning for one more year. The dark clouds at dawn grow slowly illuminated as the secondhand tick along our analog clock. The cars race down the road, the noise of their engines cut through by the sound of water as they pass through puddles

Use the 12 Days of Christmas For Quiet and Togetherness

As the Vince Guaraldi song chimes in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Christmas time is here Families drawing near Oh, that we could always see Such spirit through the year. You have done it: the hustle, the bustle, the Christmas baskets and Christmas shopping, the delivering, the Santa-ing, the cooking, the

Suggested Christmas Comfort Reads

Where is the silence this season? With four kids, holiday schedules that include more events not less for myself and my spouse, presents, plans, a baby due at the end of January, where is the stillness? My mind whirls without reflection. The meditative booklets are reduced to one. I am

In Silence This Advent

Quietly, I sneak out of bed in the dark hearing the drops of rain pitter upon our rooftop and the slosh of puddles divided by passing cars. It is five in the morning. Yesterday I told myself perhaps I would have to wake this early to find that elusive state

Waiting for Marshmallows

The Marshmallow Test In 1972, Stanford professor Walter Mishel conducted a study in which a child was offered the choice between a marshmallow right away or two marshmallows if they waited until the researcher came back in fifteen minutes.  Researchers followed up with children thirty years later. The first twenty seconds

Stark-Style Gratitude

As the air cuts through my coat with a chill, I breathe, then cough the growing thickness. It is heavy with snow. The wind whips the powdery snow circling my imagination. For that is the only place it could be. It does not look a lot like Christmas here in

To Work or Stay-at-Home: Supporting those who pursue a middle way

Previously published in the column, “Here’s to the Good Life!” from the Hughson Chronicle & Denair Dispatch Caught up in the waves on links on the world wide web I encountered an insightful article on the “Cult of Domesticity” by Daniel Stewart, known more to me as the husband of

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