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The dock is our compass, our legs, the arrows facing west. Staring up into the inky blackness, we draw a path from star to star resembling the hull of a ship, as little waves lap the salty posts like a cat licking a bowl of cream. The harbor is quiet, but for the soft purr of an old Whaler guided in fro...
Built in 1870, our house survived the Great Chicago Fire. She witnessed from her large bay windows the greedy flames devouring our town after Bessie, the cow, kicked over the lantern in the O’Leary’s barn. Just how close she was in her infancy, I could never be sure, but the sight and smell must have been terrible from any distan...
When she appeared on our Evanston doorstep the morning my parents left for the West Coast, I thought we were in for big trouble: Keyes was as wide as our refrigerator and wore gold-rimmed, granny glasses on the brim of her nose as black as molasses. Like everyone else, we never knew her first name. My mother found her with the help of Mar...
The long, jagged crystals look like light blue icicles, hanging there from the roof of the cave as they reflect the watery depth of 55 feet. It is beautiful, delicate, and eerie at the same time – a subterranean palace of precious mineral nestled beneath the warm, pink sands of Bermuda. Though they were visited by Mark Twain, you won’t necessarily know the Crystal ...
Intent on depositing a week’s worth of waitressing wages and tips, I was directed by the suited teller to a metal box in the entrance to my local bank. I was working that summer in an ice cream parlor, saving my hard-earned dollars for college, and I worried whether automation would prove a reliable substitute for the warmer human interaction to which ...
I trace the short curve of the neck, crest of the head, and “s” shape of the flying geese, admiring the fine stitching and light, puffy cotton. There are alternate shades of light and dark, yellow and green -- floral patterns in triangles bordered by the darker print and secured with ...
Our family telescope sits in a silver tripod close to the early red geraniums, their green leaves fuzzy against my kneecaps. I am barely tall enough to look through the lens, hoping to examine the fine details of the Moon as she passes between the Earth and the Sun w...
We take turns sketching articles of clothing. I am copying my daughter’s favorite summer dress – a simple spaghetti strap that flows to mid calf  in a beautiful sunset of yellow, orange, and rose – set off by her sparkly starfish necklace. Pleased, she dr...