I’m taking creative writing lessons with my six year old. Every day, we watch Ms. Lisa – a teacher who sounds like maybe she’s from Brooklyn. We give a thumbs up when we agree with something. The videos are pre-recorded, but Ms. Lisa says she can see a lot of thumbs up, and we feel … Continue reading Watermelon and Seeds
Imagine you’re a frog. Because you’re cold-blooded, your body is the same temperature as your surroundings. So as the temperature around you drops, your body also gets colder and colder, and you move slower and slower. You don’t have clothes or a furnace to keep you warm. You don’t even have fur! So what do … Continue reading Why Is That?How Do Frozen Frogs Survive the Winter?
Lumber companies set their eyes on the Chippewa Valley in the 1850s as a prime spot for business, with impressive riverways and ample pine in the northwoods. Soon, workers from all over the country and the world immigrated here, often as lumberjacks or farmers. At first, everyone lived simply. They built log cabins and then … Continue reading Why Is That? Why are there huge, ornate houses downtown?
Marylanders go to the beach the way you go Up North. You have your family cabin in the woods; my family had a townhouse on the Delaware shore, a three-hour drive away – the longest car trip imaginable. For the two decades of my childhood, going to the beach was my summer vacation, and it … Continue reading Love The Beach You’re With
In 1996, I was 16 and living in Bethesda, Maryland (January mean temperature: 37 degrees). One ordinary brown January afternoon, my siblings and I went to see 12 Monkeys. While we sat in the dark theater, a surprise Nor’easter snuck over the East Coast. A couple of hours later we emerged and stared at the swirling … Continue reading Winter Layers
The mulberry bushes stretch far up a hill, and we eat all the berries, like a mama bear and two cubs storing sunshine for the long winter. The seeds crunch between our teeth like bones as juice drips from our chins and hands. We are sticky, and we like it. "Mama," my son says between … Continue reading To Wish and Wish and Wish Properly
More than 800 years ago, Norway was caught in a civil war. Two groups fought over who should rule the country. The ruling party made fun of the rebels by calling them Birkebeiner (“Birchbarkleggers”), because they wrapped bark around their legs to stay warm and protect them in battle. In the winter of 1206, the 18-month-old prince … Continue reading Famous Wisconsin Ski Race Has Origins in Norwegian History
Mama feels hot! Your baby girl calls her brother to the couch where you lie, volcanic in loose clothes. They flutter their cool hands over your skin as you exhale flames. Turn your head so as not to scorch them. Soon your husband will return. Soon, when he opens the door, the breeze will stir the … Continue reading Temper
Brrrr … it’s getting chilly out there! It’s fun to walk out in the mornings and see that lovely coating of white frost. But what is frost, anyway? There are different kinds of frost, depending on how they were formed. Radiation frost is the most common and is what accumulates on windshields in the morning. … Continue reading What Is Frost? Explaining Icy Winter Patterns
First published in Volume One Magazine This morning, the kitchen thermostat reads 59 degrees. It’s still dark outside, so I can’t confirm the forecasted snow and wind. Either way, seems time to turn on the heat. I hold my breath as the furnace clicks then rumbles to life. It’s an old furnace. “Don’t expect it … Continue reading We Are Grasshoppers