From Claire Carey Deering

THE MINIMALIST
CLAIRE CAREY DEERING lives with her husband and son in a small desert town. She doesn’t write as much these days, but she loves symbolism, so she is especially excited to tell you her new house is on Hope Drive.

Heavy Lifting

I begin my mornings like a cat burglar. Before the alarm can even ring in our dark house, I turn it off, creeping down the hallway in long steps and slow shuffles to avoid the creaking hardwoods. I’ve found heel-then-toe is more effective than tip-toe, that the whole area around the dining room table is…

Bridge

I’m a native Seattleite. My roots are here, buried deep in this seaside soil. My quiet awkwardness fits in nicely in this land of isolation, where neighborhoods are spaced out and teetering on tips of dark green hills or buried under layers of evergreen branches. A place where water dominates the landscape, a city so…

Book It!

In the late 80s, we had Book It!, a reward system designed to get kids to read with the promise of free pizza. It’s no surprise that a program that motivated kids to read by rewarding them with Pizza Hut fell somewhat out of vogue–the fear of gluten and childhood obesity making it less enticing.…

Howl

This weekend we went to a wedding, and I’ll be honest, I felt like a middle-aged mom in a mall-bought dress. For good reason it turns out, as I am in fact a 36-year-old mom, and I was, in fact, wearing a dress purchased from the mall. The whole way there I was fidgety and…

The Asking Years

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” Zora Neale Hurston When I sit down to write, there’s a fly bashing its body against the glass. I stand and walk towards it, moving slowly as to avoid startling him. I push open the window above the sink, and the kitchen door, too, and…

Muddy Fields

Well, it happened. All of my years in the classroom made me shudder at the thought of becoming a helicopter parent, those well-meaning and well-coiffed moms circling just outside the door ready to conference about every perceived injustice, ready with an excuse why their beloved child had not turned in the assignment. I vowed never…

Floating Thoughts

We live close to the Locks here in Seattle, giant steel channels where boats squeeze together as the water rises or drops, depending on which way the bow’s facing. Without these Locks, Lake Union would bleed out into the Sound, its borders and depth forever altered, but with them, the two bodies of water stay…

The Way Out

I’ll tell you a story. Maybe it will sound like an exaggeration, but I’ll tell it anyways. As best as I can say it, as true as I remember it. There was a girl living in Hawai’i who tutored students a couple of mornings a week at the university academic center to buy textbooks and…

Hope&Restoration [Hardware]

A handful of years ago, some teacher friends invited me out for dinner and drinks and a little Christmas shopping. I drug my feet. Not because I didn’t like the group, but I felt particularly alone at this time of the year and the thought of wandering around the crowded town center under twinkling lights…

The Sweet Life

My father’s brother is dying right now. I would say my uncle, but I don’t know him well and the title feels like a claim I’m not sure I’m entitled to make. When I was a child, we visited my dad’s family in upstate New York each summer. I would swim with my cousins in…

Conversations

I almost didn’t take the part-time nanny job. I’m sure I had my reasons, though it’s hard to remember the details now, all these years later. I went for the interview mainly because a friend of my best friend had recommended me, and I felt obligated to show up. I practiced my “thank you, but…

Girl, Interrupted

I didn’t expect to rewrite this article a few hours before posting it. I had already spent a good chunk of the weekend writing and rewriting my piece, but then Monday happened, and, all of a sudden what I had written was not the thing that mattered anymore. Monday mornings are hard, they just are.…

Lost & Found

I found a necklace in the dirt under our lilac tree earlier this week. For a moment, I thought it was living, its round wood beads strung tightly together like the belly of an earthworm popping up through the ground. But as I bent down to free it from the dead leaves, I saw it…

Unpacking

The padding did nothing to keep my shoulders from aching under the weight of everything I had crammed inside. I was late. If I didn’t hustle, I would miss the bus, which meant I would need to haul these textbooks and notebooks and leftover sand all the way to downtown Honolulu on foot. I picked…

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…