Columns

The Storytelling Tree

Andy loved building things. He worked a good, long day on my whim to swing like a kid again. Up and down his extension ladder he went, drilling two holes into a limb of a maple, turning giant eyehooks until secure, knotting the rope and threading it through the wood...

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Memories of Granny’s church

While deadheading Cosmos beside a garden gift I named Granny’s Church, the blissful summer I spent a month vacationing alone in Kentucky came to mind. Nine years old, my aunts passed me from house to house in the McCoy Bottom where I ran the farm all day and chased...

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The rite of a haircut

“I like it. You look twenty years younger,” my husband says. And men say women exaggerate. “You haven’t worn your hair that short in almost twenty years.” Well, he’s closer to the truth on that one. My revived pixie hairdo and I sit at the kitchen’s island with a...

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Life cycle of the hornworm

If you plant tomatoes, they will come. No respecter of the nightshade family, the tomato hornworm consumes tomato leaves, knows when green shoots sprout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No respecter of soil, overwintered moths emerge from the earth in early spring...

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Road trip through America

Hello America. It’s been awhile. You haven’t heard from me for some time because I had gone out into the storm to reacquaint myself with you, trying to rediscover—or, maybe, discover for the first time—what you really are. Perhaps it was foolish, but I couldn’t help...

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Open windows

I open my study window to a blessed breeze and birdsong. The ferns scorched by heat and drought whisper a rasping refrain. Memories of open windows waft in with faithful, faultless voices of robins, redwing blackbirds, mourning doves, and numerous winged creatures I...

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Take a kid catchin’ and teach ’em to fish

Take a kid catchin’ and teach ’em to fish

Farm ponds provided livestock water while in the pasture. On our farm, most were muddy, had a distinct odor of cow manure, trampled shorelines and large snapping turtles. Today, with stocking programs old farm ponds have turned into a great place to introduce fishing...

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Supper with Hutterites

On my return from West Virginia last month, Pauline welcomed me into her Victorian home in Newport, Kentucky. “On your way to Michigan tomorrow, will you have time to stop in Ohio for a visit with our friends the Harris family?” she asked. “Yes. I packed a dress with...

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The purpose of things and people

Everything is designed with a purpose in mind. A bed for rest. A knife to slice our bread. A toaster, butter, and strawberry preserves to sweeten the day. Tongues to taste, swallow, talk and sing. Bless and curse. Fish, birds, and mammals feed on flies. Soil, rain,...

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This significant summer

Come spring, we watch fat female robins and the wreath on the west pavilion post. A mama robin built a nest in the wreath’s cradle years ago to become a popular destination for breeding our state bird. A benefit of husbandry, harboring songbirds is not for the...

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