From The Archives, April 2010: Live-Blogging Vacay

(NOTE: At the time of writing, Mary is seven, Ren is four, Eden is just shy of her first birthday. Location: Tilty-Floored Farmhouse. It’s their break from school. I’m working from home while caring for the kids.) MONDAY 8 a.m. Content the children with snacks and cartoons, take a cup of coffee and the laptop … Read more

The Racist Arrest of Park Cannon

I don’t mind telling you that I have been fangirling on Rep. Park Cannon since long before she single-handedly enraged the entire GOP establishment by politely knocking on a door. In the summer of 2017, my daughter Mary wrote to me from camp. That’s it, that’s the sentence. In nine years of summer camp, she … Read more

Part II: Sugarplum

She was never a devoted mother, but she was a dutiful one, and that’s plenty hard enough. The tiny, grey tiger-striped tabby with the perfect pink nose appeared on the feeding station Cat Cam in the middle of a late-winter snow, standing on her hind legs to investigate the heated cat house we’d placed out … Read more

Part I: Buster

Buster was a good boy, even if he did rip the flesh of my arm from my inner elbow to the cuticles of my thumb and forefinger. It wasn’t his fault. He had never known love. And, also, I took the mackerel away. I began my departure with a rug, the one Ducky had given … Read more

Obituary: That Grand Man

SOUTTER, Nicholas Multi-Lingual Attorney, Adventurer Nicholas Benedict Soutter of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Wellesley, Massachusetts; and Santa Barbara, California, died November 22, 2020 after a brief illness. Soutter was born May 31, 1941, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Dr. Lamar Soutter, M.D., founding dean of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, war hero, … Read more

Homily: Valerie Lillian

It was an unlikely friendship. Valerie and I met when our husbands were stationed at Quantico. Phil had spent the prior ten years gently encouraging adorable young officer candidates to come to the realization they were not fit to serve in his Corps. My husband had only weeks earlier managed to squeeze his way past … Read more


There have been 10 summer goodbyes since that first Briar Haven drop off.  The last nine didn’t matter much.  This one: It’s a syrupy July night — morning, technically, close to 2 a.m.. It’s just Mary and me, driving along in the 2009 Rav4 that makes concerning sounds when I brake; a thumpda-dump-dump beat that’s … Read more

Vinaigrettes: Shaken, Stirred, And Grasping At Light Fixtures

Me: You are going to need to use some of this time to learn to adult. Mary: I can totally adult. Me: You broke the dishwasher three times. Mary: Pshaw. Me: You used it unsupervised … Exactly. Three. Times. Mary: Adding dish soap is not breaking it. Me: Fine. You broke the dishwasher twice, and … Read more

Hello, Doctor, Name, Continue, Yesterday, Tomorrow

First, I am going to resolve one of the great crises of faith facing our nation during this time, and I am going to do it by stating a simple, obvious truth: She totally fed her husband to the tigers.  My grandparents picked up arms to defend this country; I picked up the remote control … Read more