Category Archives: home

Everybody Has a Rat Story.

It was a few days after Christmas, and I’d just brought my car in for service. That morning, out of the blue, it had started misfiring. I slid into the seat of Magic Toyota’s courtesy car eager to tell my … Continue reading

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Free to Paint My House Blue

  Thirteen years ago. I was in the market for a new house. Or a condo. I couldn’t make up my mind. The houses I saw—much like the house I was leaving—had lawns and extensive flowerbeds and overgrown trees, and … Continue reading

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Do “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”?

On a recent walk, huffing and puffing my way uphill and down, I found myself noticing fences and walls and the frequent lack thereof. If you haven’t read Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall, since high school or middle school, you … Continue reading

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Reverse Culture Shock & PTSD

 When we lived overseas, we didn’t talk much about culture shock. At first, we were newcomers busy adjusting to the new country. After a year or two we were old hands. When someone did bring up culture shock, almost invariably, … Continue reading

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You Could Always Remodel.

 My younger sister was the one who liked to play house. She spent hours inside the playhouse our dad built for us, decorating and redecorating and having tea parties with her dolls. I preferred reading, drawing, painting, and bike riding. … Continue reading

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What Was Hiding under My Carpet.

I noticed the spot more than a year ago. A soft area near the bathroom door. It was most obvious when I was barefoot, the floor a little lower, a little softer. Still, everything was fine on the surface. So … Continue reading

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The Enchantment of Things.

Some sign that a human hand was involved in the making of a thing can often give it a degree of enchantment. — Thomas Moore I’ve been cleaning out the shelves of my china cabinet and buffet, clearing the way … Continue reading

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Packing Up, Goin’ Nowhere.

This week I’ve been cleaning out my china cabinet and buffet, wrapping tea cups and vases and wine glasses in newspaper and stuffing them—carefully—into boxes. Next I’ll pack up the living room and then the bedroom. To anyone who steps … Continue reading

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Tearing the House Apart and Putting it Back Together.

The carpet looked fine … amazingly good, in fact, for a light-colored twelve-year-old carpet that hadn’t been shampooed for two or three years, maybe longer. But when I opened the door after a two-week trip and dragged my suitcase across … Continue reading

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Your Friendly Neighborhood Trees

  I love trees—the shade trees in the park, the tall, narrow trees that line the streets downtown, the ginkgo in a pot on my patio, the evergreens covering the nearby hills and climbing the distant mountains, the rows of … Continue reading

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