A few weeks ago, I travelled back to Lincoln, Nebraska, my hometown, on what’s left of the prairie. I hadn’t been back since my parents moved 15 years ago and, for 20 years before that, only at Christmas time. Now, in a blink of an eye, it was Lincoln High’s 35th reunion, and the first time I’d been back as someone dropping in from the clouds of the past, as a real stranger.
I’ve lived in Malden, Massachusetts, part of Boston’s urban merging of cities and towns for 26 years. Yet, if you tell me what street a business is on, I’ll have no idea where it is. Instead of street names, you have to describe to me the surrounding area and what you pass on the way from here to there. For me, navigating the Boston area is like finding my way back on poorly marked hiking trails–it’s all about how things look and my general sense of direction. Continue reading Notes from My Trip to the Old Country
I sent this to the Malden papers. I thought I’d share it here. I was so happy with how our eight-ten year old girls were playing soccer together, I was jumping up and down on the sideline with excitement!
Over Memorial Day weekend, a Malden Girls Under-10 team went to the Danvers Invitational Tournament to test their mettle. The girls, from two different Malden Youth Soccer teams, quickly became mates, played great, and had a wonderful time at the Danvers Invitational. They left with fodder for great memories, uniform patches from the teams they played against, trophies, and a record of 2-1-1.
As a newly combined team with girls nervous to play in their first tournament, the first game was a little rough. On sweltering Saturday afternoon, Malden lost to Andover 0-7. Head coach Maria Cotter remarked that the score would have been much closer had the match been their third or fourth of the tournament instead of the first. “The girls gained confidence with every game and pulled together as a team really quickly.” Hugo Bonilla and Kim Brookes served as assistant coaches.
Continue reading Malden Girls at Danvers Soccer Tournament
Jennifer Crystal challenged our Grub Street class to write a 500-1,000 word essay “using humor to make a point.” In speech and writing, I pepper people with puns and jokes. But humor for revelation?
In our assignment from Writing Well, William Zinsser demonstrates comic devices. To question women’s public adornment with hair curlers in the 1960s, Zinsser parodied an advice column. That seems easy enough.
Using humor to make a point is really hard. For once in my life, I can’t think of anything at which to poke fun.
Continue reading Humor: A Hard Way to Write an Essay
On Cape Cod, near the end of Wing’s Neck, there is an inauspicious dirt and gravel driveway marked “Scott’s End.” We always park in a small spot that nestles into the trees. The fresh salt air greets us. When it’s dark and clear, the black sky reveals stark constellations normally hidden to us above the bright lights of Boston. Here, behind the house, there is silence. When it’s light out, we count cars to see how many are here already. I check to see which of the resident boats must be in the water, Continue reading Cousin Peter’s Brother Billy’s House