Sometimes You Can Go Back Home

Winter Greenlake Saturday afternoon, I venture out to Trader Joe’s. There are two, about equidistant from our new house by Greenlake, but honestly neither is terribly convenient. I know this, because I’ve had this problem before. This EXACT problem. Because I grew up about a mile from where we live now. So I remember thinking,…

This My City

And having answered so I turn once more to those who sneer at this my city, and I give them back the sneer and say to them: Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and coarse and strong and cunning. from “Chicago,” Carl Sandburg It seems like…

In The Heights & Christmas Lights

I’m home! Where people come People go Let me show all of these People what I know There’s no place like home! … I’m home! Where it’s a hundred in the shade But with patience and faith We remain unafraid I’m home! You hear that music in the air? Take the train to the top…

Mini Pumpkins and Not-Forever Houses

It was a great day when I discovered that Trader Joe’s sells small pumpkins for 69 cents. America and Germany are tied in their veneration of pumpkins. In Germany, I could go to the market and find five kinds of pumpkins suitable for making various types of soup. That’s pretty much what you do with…

The First Day of No School

Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. In order to arrive at what you do not know You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance….

Goodbye, Town.

From our last night in Kandern, Germany. (With apologies to Margaret Wise Brown.)   In the great green room There is a glowing world And a tiny spoon And a picture of kids, pointing up at the moon. There are two goldfish, and a bunny dish. And two paper stars, and a purple car. And…

What You Leave

“What’s it like leaving?” It’s the question of the month, a fair one to ask after eight years in missions, seven at Black Forest Academy. The answer, I mostly reply, is that it’s complicated. Because there are many kinds of leaving, and they all mean different things. Today—with our students graduated as of this morning…

Haunted By Homes

“No matter how you get there or where you end up, human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” Creed Bratton, The Office Luci and I halt abruptly in front of the kitchen/toy/hardware store window display on Hauptstrasse, because I’ve spied a familiar word. Beside an elegant box containing three ceramic egg-cups and…

Home Is Where The Jam Is

I love to go out in late September among the fat, overripe, icy, black blackberries to eat blackberries for breakfast, the stalks very prickly, a penalty they earn for knowing the black art of blackberry-making; and as I stand among them lifting the stalks to my mouth, the ripest berries fall almost unbidden to my…

Grateful Goodbyes

Here are the hard goodbyes Love you ’til the day I die Here’s where regrets all fade Into the light from which you’re made And here is the warm sand Sifting through your perfect hand Here’s where you laugh again In the memory of a friend And here’s where you find the truth It’s the…