Vesper Walk

There’s just enough snow on the ground for it to tip over the brim of my hiking boots. As we walk single-file through the clumps of fir and pine, the swish-squeak of polyestered thighs masquerades as birdsong, much to the frustration of my companions. Every so often our leader stops. His ears, red in the…

Anatomy of a Fall

0° I park the car and trade my shoes for roller skates. It’s the after-work hour and the gym rats are streaming toward the building. I go the other direction, find the sidewalk leading down into a mobile home park. As my speed increases exponentially, my body defaults to ski mode: toes turning toward each…

Don’t Touch

Ears back means, I don’t like you. I’ve learned this because Penny is a magnet. Even while sleeping in his preferred position on the sidewalk — something I call “dead-dogging-it”: lying on his side, four legs stuck out, head resting on one incredibly soft ear — he’s irresistible. Serious businessmen pass and can’t hold back…

Elk River, Oregon © Tuula Rebhahn

River Time

The film was gorgeous but Tim’s short presentation afterward was electrifying, careening through fifty years of conservation history as his beautiful photographs flashed across the projector screen. As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder where river awareness has been my entire life.

In Praise of the Unmanicured Lawn

There’s a fat bumblebee swerving between the buttercups in the shaggy patch of grass below my porch. She delicately mounts a yellow petal and investigates its inner regions, then sails to the next, a shaggy head of white clover. I know I should mow the lawn. The dandelions are reaching their long necks up to…

Excerpt: “Bait” & Being Old Enough

“What do you think, gals?” Dave calls out to me and Hannah, since we’ve already taken a position standing two feet behind him and off to the side. “Two sardines, two squid?”
I think it’s going to take a lot more than that to bait the hundreds of crab pots Dave says he has waiting offshore, but I don’t say it. It’s obviously a question that we’re meant to answer affirmatively, to keep up the charade that we know what we’re doing. There’s an awkward pause. Obviously, Hannah isn’t interested in playing.