Winter Again

I wake now to the gray skies of November, mornings begun in darkness, workdays ending in the same. Final skeins of migrating geese stretch pencil-thin against the clouds; snow squalls blow suddenly from the north, halt, then blow again. The sun makes its appearance, apologizes, and disappears. The wind bites. The temperature drops. Winter returns. […]

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Inevitable Change

Frost touched northwestern Minnesota early Thursday morning. Just like that, summer ended. We now watch the forecast closely, tarps at hand to cover late-ripening tomato and pepper plants. Beets and carrots are pulled; soups simmer in stock pots and slow cookers. Yellow squash is blanched and frozen. Spent plants are gathered and thrown atop the […]

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My Question

It’s a misty, overcast morning. The air is primed for rain. The sweet corn calls from the garden. It’s time — perhaps past time — to pick and process it for winter storage. The summer winds to a close on these last days of August. In northwestern Minnesota summer announces its exit without equivocation. The […]

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I Walk

I have thought much since January how life is tentative. I have known abstractly the brevity of life – how war extinguishes breath, the soldier and civilian’s; how famine weakens and illness encroaches; how epidemics — smallpox, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and cholera —sweep aside generations in their path. Polio was the childhood fear of my mother. […]

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Consider How the Lilies Grow

A decent day is promised after two days of high winds, rain and cold temperatures. It’s hard to give up an early June weekend to inclement weather — hard on my mind; hard on my body; hard on my creativity. In the face of the cold and rain, though, I slept late Saturday morning, sleeping […]

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A Mother’s Designs

My mother had a good deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. Mark Twain My mother had great designs for me. I was to be an artist — a dancer on the musical theater stage. She financed endless dance lessons toward this end. For years she arranged car rides to-and-from lessons; […]

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