Rosemary

A peculiar thing happened in the produce aisle at Fred Meyer on Monday. In some respects, the incident hardly seems worth mentioning. But it has stayed with me nonetheless, a moment I may remember for some time. First, some background: Remember those first apocalyptic-feeling days of the pandemic when people emptied the shelves at grocery…

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Nuthatch

I was working at the kitchen stove, making a batch of mustard pickles wondering if there is any way back to a more charitable view of the world than the one I currently hold. A stubborn film of cynicism colors my lens. I cannot seem to wash clean from it. As I prepared the clear…

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Beet Therapy

It is harvest time here on our little farm; the garden is at the end of its season. Carrots have been pulled, blanched, and put up in the freezer. Today the task is to process beets. I’m grateful for the work because it pulls me away from the news that 1,095 Alaskans were diagnosed with…

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Awards and Other News

While our world has changed in big ways and small through the 2020 pandemic, the wheels have still been turning in my writing life. The review I wrote of Katy Yocum’s novel Three Ways to Disappear, published in the North American Review, won FIRST PLACE in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2020 awards in the category of…

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Old Boots

It won’t be long before we’ll be swapping winter bunny boots for summer footwear. Our assortment of boots sits on a shelf in the mudroom, out of reach of Lily, our shoe-chewing Aussie pup. The collection clearly shows that I prefer boots to pretty shoes. When I shop, I’m looking for comfort and mileage. I’m…

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The Eduction of Lily Blue

I stepped into my kitchen yesterday and discovered that a pan of cinnamon rolls I had left on the stovetop to rise, now lay face down in a gooey mess on the kitchen floor. A lot of thoughts ran through my mind at that moment. One thought is not printable in a family magazine. Another…

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Narrative Preservation: A review of Three Ways to Disappear

My husband and I have a private reading club. We read aloud every night before bed and the topic of discussion over our coffee the next morning is often the book we are reading. Katy Yocom’s debut novel Three Ways to Disappear was a book that generated thought-provoking discussion long after we turned the last page. We…

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Our Perfect Wild

Before Alaska villages started falling into the ocean, this couple saw change coming.    Ray Bane sat quietly on the bank of the Koyukuk River, a winding ribbon of blue so clear that the slant of sun on its pebble-strewn floor bounced back a million shards of light. The river meandered down and along the…

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Turtle Sitting

There’s Island time—the slow, simple pace of a vacation—and then there’s turtle time. We were in Hawaii walking along a beach when we noticed distinctive tracks that led from the gentle ocean surf to a place in the sand where a sea turtle lay. Just a day earlier, we had been snorkeling and observing the…

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Treasure in the Attic: Writing Trails Across Time

When I was commissioned to write Trails Across Time: History of an Alaska Mountain Corridor, I had no idea that I would discover such rich and fascinating stories. Places I’d traveled for years, often on our family’s way to go fishing on the Kenai Peninsula, took on new meaning as I learned about the area’s…

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