The Fiftieth

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Signs across the sagebrush high desert are “Open Range. Watch out for Stock.”   “Antelope Crossing.”  No signs for restaurants, or gas stations, or rest stops for 120 miles. It’s a long way from the west coast to Bismarck, North Dakota, … Read More

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Grounded

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As any parent knows, grounding an acting-out adolescent is punishment for the parent.  This is an extreme action to take, and the parent is equally grounded – s/he has to provide some basic supervision, hear the doors slam, shouts of … Read More

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The Quotidian

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“Quotidian” is a word I haven’t used before.  It derives from Latin and refers to dailiness, mundane.  Kathleen Norris, a spiritual writer, has a book called The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and Women’s Work. The title reminds me of dish … Read More

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Grace

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From the Essay “Winter Hours” in the book Upstream by Mary Oliver. In the winter I was writing about, there was much darkness. Darkness of nature, darkness of event, darkness of spirit. The sprawling darkness of not knowing. We speak … Read More

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Banning a mural of hope

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An artist’s rendition of Greta Thunberg on a mural in Bismarck, North Dakota, was recently withdrawn from consideration after protests against the mural.  I feel deeply saddened and aggrieved. I grew up with the belief that I could do anything … Read More

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Handbook of small indignities and Comic Relief

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I love to watch the sitcom Grace and Frankie because of the comedic fuel normal aging provides.  Yes, I like the actors and actresses (Klute? Laugh-In?), but in this season Grace can’t get up from a low couch or toilet, … Read More

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Grandchild

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Dear Little Girl You looked perfect Your parents said And it is True Rosebud lips and button nose Deep gray blue eyes Pink baby, pink skin Hair – ginger, sandy Yet to tell. Your mother surrenders Her body to you … Read More

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The Stamp Collection

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I took my stamp collection to a wizened man in my city, who dealt in collectibles – postage stamps, coins, silver.  I was moving across country, and since I would pay movers by the pound, I was de-accessioning pounds of … Read More

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Orcas and Life after Menopause

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Orca grandmothers lead pods, as matriarchs of their family units.  Science has discovered that only  some whale species, and humans, have a long life post fertility. Many other large mammals –primates, elephants—may be fertile into old age.  I wonder how … Read More

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My Santaland Diary

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The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris is my favorite holiday chestnut.  I grew up listening to an LP of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol my parents played on Christmas Eve, and that was wonderful during a certain age of innocence, but … Read More

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