The temperature here is set to reach a hundred degrees by the end of the week, and we’re the lucky ones. In some parts of the country, it’s too hot for airplanes to fly. On days like this my dad used to throw us in the truck and head out to the lake, his scratched-up driftboat in the bed and us with our thighs stuck to the hot vinyl seats in the front. I remember being so small, kneeling in the curved belly of the boat while my father rowed, one eye on the sky for July thunderstorms. “Sit still, mae-mae,” he’d remind me. “Don’t rock the boat.” Continue reading
Hey. You. Psssst. Yeah you, my well-meaning white liberal American friend. C’mere. There’s plenty of room on the couch so sit for a minute; we’re gonna have a little talk about the future. Continue reading
She would make tiny sandwiches with the crusts cut off when she knew we were coming, opening cans of smoked salmon and crab. She must have made another sort of sandwiches because at the time my little sister would eat neither of those things, not even on white bread, which we never had at home, with the crusts cut off. I don’t remember. I do, however, remember her staircase. Continue reading
When I was a small child, I had a wardrobe. It had four narrow drawers down one side, a closet-cabinet-bit on the other, and a broad drawer stretching all the way across the bottom. This is not a story about that wardrobe, which was eventually handed down to my little sister and which I believe my mother now keeps art supplies in, if it survived the purge when my parents built a new home on the site where our old doublewide once moldered. Continue reading
“It’s okay, Mama’ll fix it. Open wide,” I tell my dog, rolling the treat-coated pills in my hands before tucking them against my thumb and nudging them down her throat. Every time, the wad of drugs feels huge. If practice makes perfect, she’s the canine version of Linda Lovelace by now. Continue reading
When my parents settled in the rural Northwest, they failed to do a rainfall analysis. I grew up in the scrub-oak rock-farm high-desert conservative part of a state outsiders think is wet and liberal. When I was born, my parents were quasi-sharecroppers on a small farm. Uncounted orphan lambs died in my lap next to the woodstove. (Lambs wait until you fall asleep to die. Six-year-old me woke up with a lot of dead lambs. You can use this as Exhibit A in my trial.)
We left the farm when I was eight and my sister was five. Continue reading
The trouble with my family is that we all have birthdays in a 3 month span. Which happens to contain a few lesser-known holidays like “Thanksgiving” and “Christmas” and “New Year’s” and “(C)Han(n)uk(k)a(h)” which I almost wrote in Hebrew because that is a lot of Anglicization going on right there and I’m not even vaguely sure how many of those letters are valid.
So anyway, My family just craps out kids for the holidays. And so do my friends. Baby P is due to chestburst this weekend. On my sister’s birthday. So my Christmas knitting always gets pushed back to after the birthday knitting. No fears, though. I only have one pair of socks, an afghan, a scarflet and a Naughty Thing left to knit. And one of the socks is half done, so it’s not even a whole pair of socks to go. I can do eet!
In the meantime, I did this: