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…

House Hunters: Kandern

  House Hunters International makes me dangerously smug. The House Hunters franchise, as far as I can tell, forms a cornerstone of the Home Garden Television mansion. The basic formula involves someone–usually a couple–looking for a house, then being carted around to three different houses by a realtor. At the end, the couple has to reach some…

How The Storm Tried To Steal Christmas

I’ve been trying to get around to writing about our candlelit Christmas for a bit now. Oddly, it’s not easy to set aside time for writing (or even thinking, sometimes), with a wriggly six-week-old as a loud and pleasant constant companion. I’m tempted to write in metaphor, some bit about light and darkness that would be…

Candles and Community

The house is cold at dawn. I wake and build the fires. The ground is white with snow. from “IV,” Wendell Berry On the night our daughter is supposed to be born (the “supposed to” determined by an oh-so-precise countdown that started way back in February), we have no electricity at Snoqualmie Pass. We’re actually more than…

National Forest & Black Forest {Or, Where You’re From}

Dear Luci, John Denver plays over the stereo. The morning fire is down to embers now, and through the upstairs window all I can see are the dark arms of fir trees, calm and complacent in the autumn sun. On the counter sits a bear made of yellow cake, waiting for frosting, because tomorrow is…

Fernweh

Fernweh: (n.) an ache for distant places, the craving for travel A few years ago, a small niche of young American women on Pinterest with some experience in German taught me a new word: Fernweh. While its antoymn Heimweh has a direct English translation–homesickness–Fernweh (pronounced FAIRN-vay) claims no English equivalent. The closest approximation, in fact, is another German…

Full Hearts, Empty House

The couch and chair left on Saturday, driving away in a van to Maugenhard. The remaining armchair we kept for a few more days, taking turns sitting in the last piece of furniture in our living room. The kitchen packed away in boxes at our future apartment, we ate pre-washed lettuce and pre-cooked chicken with pre-made…

Places as People

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. Flinging magnetic curses amid…