Watermelon and Seeds

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 →

Love The Beach You’re With

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 →

Winter Layers

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 →

We Are Grasshoppers

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 →

Sisters on Separate Trails

I finally published an essay that I had been working on for quite some time about my twin sister Bethie, called Sisters on Separate Trails. This story is centered around a day we spent in Hayward, Wisconsin, when she skied the Prince Haakon cross country ski race. Writing this piece was a lesson in how... Continue Reading →

The Wisconsin Idea

The Wisconsin Idea is the idea that  government exists to help its constituents, codified by the turn of the century progressives. It remains today mostly in the sphere of higher ed and can be summed up with a phrase: the boundaries of the university should reach the boundaries of the state. In other words, all... Continue Reading →

The Magic Network

Once upon a time I lived in a place far, far away, filled with so many people that one could walk the streets in total anonymity, never bumping into a friend at the grocery store, never seeing a particular stranger so often in so many places you forget you hadn’t been introduced until you start... Continue Reading →


Experience has taught me to be wary when my twin sister, Beth, proposes a “trip of a lifetime.” These generally include heights, poisonous reptiles, extreme temperatures, and lots of gear. A few years ago, Beth and my brother Chris hiked into and then out of the Grand Canyon in three days. I declined to join... Continue Reading →

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