Free falling

Our 10 year-old daughter saved her allowance for weeks last year so that she could buy herself a guitar. I fully supported her effort, and I pitched in by loaning her money when she was short. She’s been taking lessons for a while now, maybe even for a year, yet she struggles to remember to … Continue reading Free falling

Half a blanket

As a family, we’ve gotten into several series that the kids really loved. We like to get pizza on Friday nights and watch something together. First was the BBC’s Merlin (which the kids adored), then Robin Hood (also BBC), then the BBC’s Sherlock. The kids had loved Merlin, but once we watched Sherlock — everything … Continue reading Half a blanket

The guitar shop

I’m sitting on the worn, black pleather couch of Rocket Music in downtown Blacksburg. The shades are drawn. The lights are off. College kids stop and cup their hands around their eyes against the glass door. They see guitars and want to come in, and are baffled that the shop is not open. The shop … Continue reading The guitar shop

Lemon meringue pie

Each weekend, one person in our family gets what we call a “special day.” With a household of four, all with different favorite foods and preferred activities, there came a point where we could never agree on how to spend our family weekend time. Some wanted to hike while others wanted to bowl, or one person wanted … Continue reading Lemon meringue pie


“What was your favorite animal at the the aquarium, Mom?” I am not good with favorites questions. I rarely have a single favorite; I have a different favorite for every occasion. “The invertebrates,” I said, and grinned at our son. He rolled his eyes. “You might as well say ‘the sea life,’” he said. “The jellyfish, then.” Planktonic. … Continue reading Pelagic