Pictures on the mantel

They aren’t expensive frames. Plain black wood, the kind you have to sort through in the display racks at the drugstore, and check carefully to find a couple that aren’t scratched or dinged. After I’d put the two 8 by 10 prints in the frames, and set them on the mantel, I sat and looked at them … read more Pictures on the mantel

The red buckeyes: An act of faith

This story begins seven years ago, with an act of faith. February 20, 2009 “I’m going to plant that red buckeye seed today,” I told Tom. Caught in my voice was that thin blade of iron resolution usually reserved for the worst tasks, like sweeping mounds of wet leaves off the decks. I had put … read more The red buckeyes: An act of faith

Being the baby again

I’ve been able to escape many of my work responsibilities during recovery, but today I had to check and finalize a form for the grant’s next installment. It was painfully difficult. The accountant had made some calculations that I knew weren’t correct. I went over and over the numbers to make sure I had done everything right. Then … read more Being the baby again

Feeling like a burden

My week is not going so well. My body feels like a hostile robot that I cannot control: The sciatica lingers, the opiate drugs constipate the digestive system, thinking is slow and feels generally purposeless. Tom does not hover overly much. He knows that I’ll tell him what I need and that I hate to whine. … read more Feeling like a burden

Day 34: The last time I left home

I left Ohio many times, physically and mentally, before I left for good in 1984. But I always knew I would leave. Maybe it started when I was very little. I used to play along the banks of the creek that ran through our front yard, and built imaginary villages from twigs, leaves, moss, and … read more Day 34: The last time I left home