From June, 2015

Wandering vicariously

My family loves travel. If we’ve saved up a chunk of money the first thought is, “Where to next?” My sister Lucy spent a couple years on a tiny Honduran island teaching children. My mom spent teenage summers motorcycling and giving medieval castle tours in Europe, was a missionary in Laos, and was a bridesmaid…

Neighboring is for the birds

About this time last year, I discovered I was terrible at Candy Crush. For months I had plugged away, crushing neon sweets after 2 a.m. feedings blissfully unaware that level 30-something was not actually an accomplishment. I stumbled on this eye-opener when our friend said in passing what level he had just finished. I wasn’t…

Good fences…lined with flowers.

A walk through my neighborhood: an essay and photo journal.I’ll be honest.  I intimately know the flowers in my neighborhood, but hardly any faces. When I heard our word for this month was Neighbor I said, “Oh crap. All I know about neighbors is that good fences make good ones!”  But as I began journaling…

Please won’t you be?

“Bowl is life.” The sign above the door boasts explosive clip art of a bowling ball striking pins over Ariel Bold font. You push the metal bar on the door and step into a rush of hot, stale air, the air of the alleys.  Incessant rolls of thunder and subsequent crashes on repeat. Marge at…

I was expecting pie

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the answer to the question ‘Who is my neighbor?’ is ‘Everyone.’ I appreciate this story because it opens up the world to boundless love regardless of race, class, religion. But, while they’re not mutually exclusive, there’s no substitute for truly knowing the people who physically live around you,…

The Sandbox of Solitude (S.O.S)

I plop down at my post. A little corner on the edge of the sandbox. My legs awkwardly dangle over the side, and I try to ignore what might be living in there as my daughter sucks on the end of a broken shovel. I take a gulp of my now lukewarm coffee and, out…

Becoming neighbors

I moved into our home ten years ago this month, the year our tiny house on the corner of our block turned 100. Kyle and I were newlyweds with grateful hearts for our home in a neighborhood we knew to be ideal for us: in the heart of our beloved city, Seattle, with all of…

My Nonny’s China (with a recipe for Minestra, an Italian peasant soup)

If there’s something my Italian heritage has taught me, it’s that food brings people together. Not just to eat it. Making pasta is a family assembly line, taking an entire day of talking and drinking wine while hands busily fold and seal tortellini. You make lots and you invite the neighbors. Food is tradition and hospitality, love and gift, shared enterprise and social do.