Archives for 2015

Toss of the Cosmic Dice

Why bother? I mean really? They’re dead. Who cares about the past, and what difference does it make? But here’s the deal, sometimes we do something for its own sake, or sometimes simply because we want to. There was a five-year period from when I finished writing a family memoir until I published … [Read more...]

Awaiting a Grandson

I wrote this to my son Matt (who taught me about bandages, patience, and love) on his thirty-third birthday (1-14-2003) and who was awaiting the birth of his first child, a boy. That child, who is now nearly as tall as me—who can clean a fish, shoot a basket, and draw not only a cow … [Read more...]

In Search of Funny

At a recent talk, a woman asked me about humor, and how do you learn to be funny. I said I don’t think you can learn to be funny. Either you are, or you aren’t. I told her I thought humor is often closely related to pain, that it arises as a reaction to suffering—like a coping mechanism—that … [Read more...]

A Dream Story

Many of my dreams, the ones I remember, are of me trying to get somewhere, usually on some odd form of transportation, not knowing how to get there, and often with people following me who think I actually know where I'm going. In one I'm riding a horse, leading the way; in another I'm in an  English … [Read more...]

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

Audio:  Smoke Gets in Your Eyes • 1959, La Habra, California Sequestered by the murky outline of the San Gabriel Mountains, Orange County had constant smog alerts, sometimes so bad they closed the schools. Everyone was told to stay indoors, the outside smothered in a pea soup of brown haze … [Read more...]

“Let’s Take a Trip Down Whittier Blvd!”

1961 - 1966 • La Habra High School Four years of high school blended together, being neither the low nor high point of my life. The second tallest girl my freshman year at La Habra High, I tripped up and down the long halls between classes praying to be invisible, hoping no one would look at me, … [Read more...]

Epilogue to Behind These Doors

Revelations and Reckonings My parents were like black and white, like oil and water, like sin and prayer. Daddy, not one to boil over, married a kettle of emotions. If he could have loosened his grip and if Mom hadn’t completely unraveled, my childhood might have been different. But it was what it … [Read more...]

Sam: A Dog Story

It was the worst day of his life, and I could hear the despair in his voice. Matt was calling from the emergency animal hospital in Sacramento. My son and his wife were on their way to the Sierras for a camping weekend. Pulling alongside on Highway 80, a woman frantically signaled them to pull over. … [Read more...]