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…

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…

Blue Plate Special

Blue Plate Special

From the beginning and all the way to the end of this post, I’m not sure if I wanted to write about the color blue or dishes of comfort food. But hear me out. What I’m trying to share, I think, is that this final day of our trip to the Chiloé Islands has been…

Get Lost in a Good Way

Get Lost in a Good Way

On Day 5 of our Return to Chiloé trip, we’re so far from civilization that we have practically no cell phone coverage and we had to bring cash to pay for our lodging at the Palafito Cucao. Since we plan to stay two nights here, we decide to forget the world today and just get…

Book Reports

Book Reports

Didn’t you just dread writing book reports as a school kid? I did, at least. Though I loved reading from an early age, I had no idea how to identify the important elements that make up an appealing story. But I knew what I liked and what I didn’t. Because a book that touches your…

Time in a Bottle

Time in a Bottle

We’re heading back to the Chiloé Islands today, where the more things change, the more they stay the same. “Everything changes…” echoes a folksong I referenced in Destiny at Dolphin Bay. And I realize it’s true: You just can’t keep time in a bottle. My husband and I have spent the day in Rilán, a…