Gratitude Attitude

Gratitude Attitude

It’s Thanksgiving week in the United States, when it’s almost as important to head home “if only in my dreams” as it is at Christmas. This wonderful holiday, perhaps contrary to secular depiction, gives us an annual opportunity to reset the focus of our lives, recalibrate our values, and recommit to expressing a gratitude attitude…

What if…America were Good?

What if…America were Good?

Samuel Adams, perhaps the most indispensable of the Founding Fathers, wrote to his friend Richard Henry Lee near the beginning of the American Revolution (1776): “Should there be found a citizen of the United States so unprincipled as to ask what will become of us if we do not follow the corrupt maxims of the…

Treasure Island

Treasure Island

Legend has it that the Archipelago of Chiloé in southern Chile still hides some of the biggest pirate treasures of all time. The myriad deserted shores and maze of channels offer plenty of places for dropping off a stash of gold looted from the storied hoards of Incan Peru. Treasure islands, for sure. Between the…

Not a Sparrow Falls

Not a Sparrow Falls

When we were building our current home in the country, a small bird flew in the open front door. My husband tried to wave it out through the open back door, but instead the creature beelined for a newly installed window. Which was not open. You can guess how this story ends. Except it’s not…

What Breaks My Heart

What Breaks My Heart

My adopted country held a plebiscite yesterday to approve/disapprove a new constitution, which just may be one of the most radically avant-garde in the world today. At the moment I’m writing this, I have no idea how the vote may turn out. Does it even matter? Whatever happens, I can tell you this: It breaks…

No Small Potatoes

No Small Potatoes

Up in Fort Fairfield, Aroostook County, in my home state of Maine, they hold a Potato Blossom Festival each July, complete with a parade, reigning queen, games, contests, and special events of all kinds. I understand this summer marked the 75th year. In Maine, the potato industry is no small potatoes. That’s obvious from the…

Soul Food

Soul Food

So much of my life revolves around food. Purchasing, preparing, eating, and cleaning up food! Even as I start to write this post, my mind wanders to the kitchen and the squash-apple soup I plan to make for lunch. I’m not a great cook or even super passionate about cooking, but I sure love to…

How to Age Like Sea Glass

How to Age Like Sea Glass

Last Sunday afternoon during our weekly walk on Totoralillo Beach—a three-minute drive from our home—I found a piece of sea glass. Emerald green, like a Sprite or Perrier water bottle. Still more glittery than glistening. Not cutting-edge sharp, but not rounded smooth either. I’m reminded that, like writer-blogger Bernadette Noll, “I want to age like…

Losing…and Finding My Voice

Losing…and Finding My Voice

“Voice,” in literary terms, refers to the attitude or personality of the author, narrator, or point-of-view character in a piece of writing. Voice shows up in both fiction and nonfiction. It can be comical, cozy, sophisticated, simple, intellectual, down-to-earth, edgy, monotonous, etc. But what if I lost my voice? I already know what that’s like…

Book Quest

Book Quest

What to write next? I’ve never before had “writer’s block”—that infamous cork-up of creative flow. And perhaps even my current experience can’t technically be labeled that, either. I just have so many ideas that instead of pouring out of my pen, it’s like they’re flooding from a fire hydrant. So today, while I’m on a…

Whose Side is God On?

Whose Side is God On?

With all that’s going on in the world, we’re sometimes tempted to ask God: Whose side are You on? Does He love the Russians more than the Ukrainians, or the Ukrainians more than the Russians? Whatever, we’re sure He loves our own country, whichever that is, just a little more than everybody else’s. You know…