21 June 2017

I miss this space

and I'm going to start writing again. I am.

14 December 2016

if you are struggling

"if novelists know anything it's that individual citizens are internally plural: they have within them the full range of behavioral possibilities. they are like complex musical scores from which certain melodies can be teased out and others ignored or suppressed, depending, at least in part, on who is doing the conducting. at this moment, all over the world-- and most recently in america-- the conductors standing in front of this human orchestra have only the meanest and most banal melodies in mind. here in germany you will remember these martial songs; they are not a very distant memory. but there is no place on earth where they have not been played at one time or another. those of us who remember, too, a finer music must try now to play it, and encourage others, if we can, to sing along."

-zadie smith, from 'on optimism and despair'a beautiful, brilliant piece I implore you to read.

30 November 2016

dear november

you were one heck of a month, november. and not just because I miraculously managed to share something here on nearly all of your thirty days. you were one heck of a month and I'm not sure I mean that as a compliment.

still, I remain hopeful.

I suspect you do too.

28 November 2016

as in, yurtsgiving (2013 edition)

yurtsgiving, as in thanksgiving that happens in and/or around and/or near a yurt.

three years ago, when we were still living out in portland, the madison family said, hey! let's camp! let's camp for thanksgiving! and we said hey! let's camp! let's do it! though we feel we should tell you something. we've never camped before.

which is maybe the first time we'd admitted it out loud, while living in the pacific northwest. because, and maybe this will come as a surprise to some of you, this is not something you openly admit when you live in the great pacific northwest. you do not openly admit to not liking coffee. and you absolutely do not openly admit to never having camped. you just don't. believe me.

and it's not that we didn't want to camp. we just didn't know how. neither of us had ever gone as kids, neither of us had grown up camping. we didn't have any of the stuff. and you need the stuff. you can't just show up and camp, you need the stuff. furthermore, you need to know how to do the stuff. and we certainly did not know how to do any of the stuff. and so this is how we went almost seven years living out in the great pacific northwest (the unofficial camping capitol of the free world) without ever having camped.

clearly, yurtsgiving changed all that. for the record, I do realize yurt camping is maybe not the same as, ahem, real camping. though I'm here to tell you it sure as hell is when you've never been camping before. as the people say, you've got to start somewhere and that little yurt nestled in a forest along the oregon coast was our gateway drug. that little yurt in nehalem bay is where we fell in love with bacon cooked over an open fire and crazy camp raccoon shenanigans and midnight stargazing and campsite turntables and picnic table thanksgiving dinners and, well, camping.

twas our last thanksgiving while living in portland, twas a heckuva way to go out.

27 November 2016

26 November 2016

on this saturday night, I am:

dreaming of korean spas. and red enamel dutch ovens. plus that last piece of pecan pie in the fridge. and a washing machine and dryer that live and work in the same house that I do.

finishing the last of the cleaning of a post-thanksgiving kitchen, the washing of the last dish, the storing of the last of the leftovers, the last of the very last.

editing photographs, editing editing editing, all the live long day, desperately trying to catch up.

writing postcards to donald as part of an avalanche effort-- in hopes of keeping more racism and white supremacy out of the white house. wait, is that really a thing I just wrote? a real live thing? what year is this? WHAT YEAR IS THIS.

mourning the end of this here break. and the last of the ambrosia. and the mashed potatoes. and goodness, am I mourning the last weeks of the obama administration (am I ever, boy am I ever) but more than anything, I am mourning the fact that there even has to be something like an avalanche postcard effort to keep white supremacy out of the white house in the first place.

25 November 2016


favorites of my favorite in honor of his 48th birthday, which we celebrated yesterday with chocolate cake after turkey and cranberries and mountains of mashed potatoes. favorites of my favorite, taken with my least favorite camera but the one I always seem to have on me, the stupid iphone. favorites of my favorite from the year 2016 and how are we at the end of it already? how?

happy birthday, mister jenkins. you are still the peanut butter to my chocolate, the sonny to my cher, my most favorite person in all of the world.

22 November 2016


this will always be one of my all-time favorite thanksgiving memories: my friend jon madison with that turkey, that tub of spice, that vinyl. the year we camped in yurts on the oregon coast and ate turkey at a campsite picnic table.

thanksgiving changed for us the year we moved to portland, oregon. one of many casualties of the big move across the country, a move that put us hundreds of miles from family. the first couple of thanksgivings, we tried. we really did. we worked hard to recreate what we'd had back home with family. and we did all right, I guess. the kids were young, we didn't really know what we were doing. the first couple with just the four of us were sweet but, undeniably, a little lonely. 

then, one year, we decided to throw out the regular plans, trade them in for shiny new ones. which led to a last minute road trip to astoria and our first thanksgiving meal at a fancy restaurant. the next year we hosted thanksgiving for friends at our house, a first for us. another year, we camped in yurts on the oregon coast with friends and prepared the whole thanksgiving meal mere steps from the pacific ocean, another first. and last year, we found ourselves in florida for thanksgiving, yet another first. 

so this is our tradition, I suppose. thanksgivings that move around. there will always be mashed potatoes and fresh cranberry sauce, I will always bring out my mom's little ceramic turkeys. they just might not always be set out on the same table.

after a couple of days in the mountains we'll head back home for our first legit thanksgiving since we moved back to atlanta. but who knows where we'll be next year? I'll tell you, that's just the way I like it.