Friday, May 31, 2024


I'm really proud of America today.  The center held.  My faith in our institutions has been vindicated.

Not because the verdict went against the Lying Felon, but because there was a unanimous verdict of any kind.  

It makes me feel that our country is less divided than it felt yesterday.  Twelve people listened to facts, listened to explanations, talked about it, and then decided to tell a former President of the United States that the rules apply to him, too. 

I can let my breath out now. 

Tomorrow there will be time to think about the election,  about what it means to be a Republican voter right now, about the media,  about the future. 

Right now I'm going to revel in the wonderfulness of our democracy. 

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Wait

Lawyers say this is the hardest part of a trial.  The jury has the case.  The talking heads are reading tea leaves and prognosticating based on their years of experience and the networks' need to fill the air with blather.  

But there's nothing real except the wait. 

I've waited before.  

April 16, 1969, when the college acceptance letters were due to land in our mailboxes.  The applications had been submitted months ago, the interviews far in my rear view mirror.  All I could do was wait.

Nine months and too many days pregnant and ready to start parenting instead of housing. Despite TBG driving me over the bumpiest roads in the neighborhood, trying to move things along, all I could do was wait.

Gathered in the tennis club's party space with the supporters of our ballot measure, watching as the votes were recorded on the blackboard on a table near the windows.  The quality of our children's education hung in the balance, and all we could do was wait.

Submitting a bid on a house.  Buying a lottery ticket.  Rolling the dice.

Waiting is hard.

I wonder how The Defendant is coping.

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Summer Feels

There's the sun on my shoulders around the straps of my tank top, heating up certain parts and leaving others to drip perspiration down my back.  It tickles and I smile.

There's the fresh peach in my hand, ripe and ready and heady with that aroma that belongs in the pantheon of perfumes.  It's as much fun to smell as it is to taste.

There's the yellow pollen and dander and flower detritus littering the ground beneath the now barren trees, their leaves folded upon themselves, protecting the moisture within.  It's a startling reminder of how quickly the seasons change.  Did it just become summer? I ask aloud.

There are baby snakes and ground squirrels and quail to admire as I walk on Christina's path.  The little slithery ones are really dangerous, the others are just adorable.  They warm my heart.

Hot weather annuals line the garden centers' shelves.  If only it were cool enough to spend the time preparing the beds and planting the plants.  I'm bored and frustrated.  I want to be outside in the sunshine.

But it's approaching 100 degrees out there and there's not a human on the roads or the bike paths.  

We're all inside, wondering where our breezes went.

I still wouldn't trade it for a Chicago winter.  Nope.  Not a chance.

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

RIP, Bill Walton

He was a college basketball hero when I was a college student.  He was an anti-war activist at the same time.  This was unusual. 

He was 7'1" tall, with red hair and the longest arms I've ever seen on a human being.  Before Air Jordan, there were Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar soaring through the air, blocking shots that used to have clear sailing to the rim.

He loved the Grateful Dead and Arizona's saguaros and peanut butter.  He ate the peanut butter on air.  With his fingers.  Offering some to his fellow commentator on the sidelines.  With his fingers.  You either groaned or giggled.  There was no in between.

His tangents were legendary, going off and on and around and through mazes that were obviously crystal clear to him but were dazzlingly obscure to the rest of us.  Was he watching the game as he bloviated?  He pivoted to the action seamlessly when it was worthy of notice.  Otherwise, he was sharing the thoughts that bounced around in his brain, regardless of their relevance.

He was a tireless booster of the PAC-12, the Conference of Champions as he called it, emphatically emphasizing the second phrase any time he could.  

On Saturday, the final PAC-12 game was played.

On Monday, Bill Walton died.

There's symmetry for you.

Monday, May 27, 2024


I'm not sure what's causing the glitches, but I'm investigating the situation.

Don't despair.  I hope that help is on the way.

Think of me smiling at you as you wait for the site to load.... it's all I can do right now.

Memorial Day

   First posted in 2008.  

I used to march in the Memorial Day parade. I was dressed in my Brownie uniform, and then in my Girl Scout uniform - replete with those embarrassing anklets. I wore them because the troop leader said we couldn't march without them, they were part of our official uniform.  Marching was too cool to pass up. I wore them and bore the scorn.

All the school bands marched too, and the moms on Benjamin Road provided the materials and the labor to make the capes the high school kids wore. There must have been a military presence there, but I didn't pay enough attention to notice. I was marching and I knew that, all over America, other kids were being Americans and marching, too.

I belonged to something bigger than my family, my school, my town.  

Belonging means different things in different places. In Marin, the Memorial Day parade was always good for a controversy or two. Or three. Should the anti-war protesters walk alphabetically in the main march, or have their own march, or walk 50 yards behind the official march? I especially liked this discussion: should weaponry be allowed?

That was fairly disingenuous even for Marin.

There were bands at this parade, too, and with Bobby Weir as the Grand Marshal you know the music was worth hearing, especially at the picnic in the park afterwards. Not exactly your typical VFW-sponsored event, but no one was complaining. It was Memorial Day; there had to be a parade and a picnic and a coming together as Americans.

I've got the flag G'ma bought us for a housewarming present, which replaced the one Dadooooo got us in Chicago.  I'll wear the tie-dyed tank top the Cuters and I made early one July.  I'll remember the fallen and recommit to doing everything I can to make this country worthy of their sacrifice.

We have a long way to go, but I have confidence in the future.
We are the ones we've been waiting for

Friday, May 24, 2024

From Sherman Alexie

Sherman Alexie's Substack brings me joy.  He tells stories in prose and poetry and, sometimes, by reading aloud.  He's playful and profound.  I carry his words around with me.  

His latest post touched on something that has bothered me for a long time, something that feels simple and cheap and embarrassing, something that probably happened at a graduation ceremony near you last weekend.  

Here's part of his musing on Spokane, his hometown:

I’m often reminded
that this land was stolen

from my tribes. I’m walking
on the body and blood
of my ancestors and I sigh
when I think of the performative 
land acknowledgments

that are only placebos.
The only honest
acknowledgement is this:
“We took your land. 
We’re not giving it back.

Enjoy the show.”
My ancestors laugh 
in their coffins
at the earnest white
folks who don't pay us

any rent. My ancestors 
giggle and mourn,
giggle and mourn.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

A Travel Day

The night before we left, I helped SIR string the HAPPY BIRTHDAY banners from the ceiling.  I laughed at the cards the kids created (I hope you had a good time being 38) and smiled at the grown up presents she was receiving.

Then, I went to sleep, which was something I did not do while she was deciding whether or not she wanted to be born.  With a little help from science, she appeared outside my body just after 12 noon.... not midnight, as her birth certificate read.  It was Memorial Day weekend, everyone wanted to be somewhere else, except me.

My little girl slept comfortably, nursed well, and when she wailed while being used as the demonstration baby in the bathing class I swooped her right out of the nurse's arms and took her back to our bed.  Don't poke the Mama Bear.

I read her stories over the phone when she was scared at sleep away camp.  I rubbed her back to help her fall asleep when being a teen was just too much.  We ate St. Patrick's Day corned beef and cabbage with our fingers.  I made sure there was a pot roast in the oven when she arrived home from college vacations, because I knew that her plans to meet up with friends would only happen after she joined us for that dinner.  

She knows everyone on campus, from Father Bob, Notre Dame's new President, to Mae, who vacuums and dusts and shares plants and herbal remedies.  She coaches 5 year old boys' soccer, with the goal of each of them learning one skill.... just one skill.... and she coaxes and smiles and sets standards and cheers them on.  She's an amazing cook and an even more amazing mother and she's my little girl and I love her.

Today was a travel day for me, flying home on the least expensive day of the week.  It was also a travel day for her, 39 years ago, from the womb to the world.

I'm so glad she made the trip.

Tuesday, May 21, 2024