Category Community connections

Moments of Unexpected Outrage: On the Perils of Being “Edited”

I thought I was doing a good thing when I told the library director I would write an article about the library’s can collection fundraiser. OF COURSE I wanted to let the public know about a program that benefits the environment AND the library I love. Just for good measure, I interviewed a Boy Scout […]

A Boy, A Dog, and a Backhoe

Springtime in the country is lovely, of course: the songs of birds, the distant lowing of cattle, the clip clop of Amish buggies driving by, the resounding rumble of a backhoe… OK, I must admit I was caught a bit off guard by that last one yesterday morning. I’d been in my son’s bedroom, vainly […]

The Peri Tree

My long-anticipated mulberry trees have finally arrived. I’d ordered them in my grandmother’s honor—she grew up with a mulberry tree in her backyard—and I figured it would be best to hedge my bets by buying three, one for her house and two for mine. (These trees are more than just trees; they’re commemorations of my […]

My Five-Year-Old Loves Chicks (Literally)

The Muse apparently doesn’t like to get her hands dirty; she’s been conspicuously absent during this last couple weeks of intense dirt-moving, planting, and chick-wrangling. But I feel so many of those moments I’d been aspiring to preserve slipping away, I need to record at least SOMETHING of the recent past. Time is limited at […]

The Amish Hitchhiker

“Could you give me a ride downtown?” Thus began my mini-moral dilemma. I didn’t know the large, elderly Amish man who happened to be trudging by my house as I opened the front door to let the frantically barking Chaussette in. At first we’d just exchanged friendly waves—standard procedure in my interactions with the local […]

Happy Children, Happy Dog

Chaussette was born in the depths of winter—on New Year’s Day, no less, so she’s a metaphor for renewal as well as a puppy. As a result, she spent her first weeks of life in a warm Amish kitchen, handled almost from birth by a welter of enthusiastic Amish children. That’s why she’s always had […]

The Hair Cut

“Why?! Why would you DO that?!” I froze mid-slurp, listening to the anguished cry emanating from the bathroom. My husband’s voice was a poignant mix of anger and incredulity. The temptation to pretend I hadn’t heard it was great: I had just come home from work and had about 10 minutes to suck down my […]