“Why is this catsuit here?” My son was helping me unload my trunk.
“Oh, you know,” I answered, “who knows when you might need a catsuit.”
I’m not a catsuit wearer, actually. I’d gotten it from a friend who I really like. A friend who regularly goes dancing for fun — real dances with specific steps and names. She doesn’t have her hands in her pockets on the dance floor.
And I want to be like this.
She was moving back to Montana and letting go of things. Montana also happens to be where our family’s first and most loved…
Maybe you’ve heard about the honeybee plight, how honeybees are in decline.
You were looking for a hobby.
You watched that Texas beekeeper’s Tik Tok video, how she picks up handfuls of bees with her bare hands.
Or, possibly you’re a parent who couldn’t decide on a good birthday present for their teenage son one year and basically nodded their head when their partner suggested honeybees.
Because, as a matter of fact, your son has always liked a good project.
Honeybees would be perfect, you thought. Like a fish tank, but a little more hip. You’re glad he likes the…
Reflections from a year in an outdoor classroom
Late June 2020, New Jersey
I’m back teaching after a three-month hiatus. It’s the first day since a pandemic entered America and shut down schools. We’ve turned our inside preschool into an outside one.
We are in a new world, a new space.
I hold out a garden hose; water streams out.
“Let’s wash our hands.”
Ten children stare but do not move. Two back up. I pull down my mask, quickly, show my best smile, show them everything is fine.
“Water! We’re washing our hands!”
I set down the nozzle, a…
I was standing outside on my lunch break when a message appeared from a long-ago friend.
She had a question for me. Could I call?
I was intrigued. A mystery! I pressed her number.
“Well, hellllooo Megan,” she said in her familiar deep voice. She always greeted me that way — back when we’d see each other — a stretched-out hello that reliably made me feel a little special.
I was only slightly surprised to find out, seconds later, that she’d sold her house and was getting ready to move. This happens frequently in midlife.
“The time has come,” she…
It’s finally spring.
And I finally feel bold enough to write that I made it through a New Jersey winter teaching mainly outside. I’m surprised by this and also by just how much-unexpected pleasure I discovered in the adventure.
Back in late August, when I earnestly began to plan for a year of outdoor teaching (pandemic-inspired) I wondered if I’d be capable of such a feat — I’m the person who is always cold, the person who secretly raises the thermostat in the living room. But I wanted to be teaching, in person and was determined to do so without…
And the delight of crossing “someday” off my list
You know that scene in the Sound of Music where Julie Andrews (Maria) sews up clothes from old curtains and, within a few short hours, all seven children have play clothes? It’s always bugged me.
Sewing takes time. Who was watching the kids when Julie was measuring, drawing a pattern, cutting fabric, and fashioning necklines and elastic waists? I understand, of course, that it’s a story based mostly on truth and it was necessary to speed things along to keep the plot moving. I do that too. …
And why you should always have a can of tuna fish
I heard the back door open.
“There’s a cat under the shed.”
Did I hear my husband correctly? I doubted it. But hoped for it.
We have two loud barking dogs. Why would any cat come here? Though we do have a lot of chipmunks.
“A cat. I saw him poke out his head.”
I dried off my hands, got on my sneakers and yelled loud enough for anyone else in the house to hear:
“There’s a cat under the shed. A CAT!”
I’m in phase one of getting back into my jeans.
This means I can wear them for about fifteen minutes before getting in a bad mood about the way they have gotten tight in my upper thigh area. Which starts me thinking about whether or not all that sourdough bread was worth it.
It felt worth it in the moment.
I remind myself that when my jeans were looser, I wasn’t necessarily happier.
In fact, I felt about the same, except slightly hungrier. And that’s probably because of the basic happiness set-point theory. …
I’m always wondering what people make for dinner when it’s been a while since they’ve shopped. When my ingredients run low, I fantasize about dropping in the kitchens of my friends to see what creative thing they’re whipping up. But life isn’t really like that anymore. It’s one of the drawbacks of suburban living, the loss of alchemy that rises from the in-person collaboration over shared knowledge. It’s a reality that makes my memories of my nana’s kitchen bittersweet — I haven’t been able to replicate her communal space. …
I am sitting cross-legged on the floor in my foyer, facing a wall. Next to me is a Mason jar of dry rice, a stick of incense propped up.
The timer is set for forty-five minutes, an inordinate amount of time. I do this because I’ve been reading a manual on meditation; an informative book on the brain written by a detail person who, I would guess, frowns on skimming. But I did skim, right away, to the benefits of meditation because I needed some incentive. …