just a word - December 3, 2013 sur·prise: As Jason writes about the tragedy of losing his brother Grant, I’m thinking of the little gift we’ve been given, an unexpected blessing.
I have two daughters, Haley, who is 12, and Natalie, who is nine going on 50—the girl is so grown-up. Jason and I have two sons. Wes, the four-year old, is named after his papa and is just as stubborn. Grant is 17-months and named after his amazing uncle. On Grant’s birthday, I told my mom and mother-in-law that I’d decided we were done having babies. Mom was relieved because I don’t have easy pregnancies. Sherryl was glad because these boys are a handful, and Wes thinks he needs to go over to Banana and Papa’s house every day, whether we know about it or not. Dec 2, 2013, 12:32
Garden Road - December 3, 2013 In 2008, my brother went in for surgery to remove a tumor from his chest. It was a little before Thanksgiving, around this time, and Grant was just relieved to find out—after a visit to Mayo Clinic in Rochester—that surgery was a possibility, instead of the chemotherapy that had been dragging him down for a year. Dec 2, 2013, 12:21
Garden Road - November 26, 2013 Thanksgiving is an in-between, ambivalent time for me. The leaves have faded, shriveled and fallen, and Christmas will soon be here. For much of my childhood, my kin traveled to one side or the other for family reunions. I recall driving up through new-fallen snow to Ankeny in the early 80s and playing Frogger and Breakout on my cousin Lori’s Atari. She also owned an electronic Simon Says, where you tap four colorful buttons in a pattern and keep repeating until you forget. We spent many Thanksgivings at my Uncle David’s in Des Moines, where my cousins tried to catch a football when it was too cold to be outside. The younger kids played tag in the backyard. There were also a few Thanksgivings at my Aunt Wilma’s in Corydon, where I would take my collection of toy dinosaurs for entertainment. Nov 26, 2013, 14:30
just a word - November 26, 2013 thanks·giv·ing: When most people hear the word they think turkey and dressing, a house filled with relatives, a To-Do list a mile long. Maybe a four-day weekend from work and school. Some people look forward to rising before dawn for Black Friday shopping, though I don’t really understand how anyone can think clearly at three a.m. That’s probably the point. They get you in the store when you’re groggy, cranky and, therefore, likely to spend more. Or, you might associate it with pilgrims and Indians. I won’t bore you with the story of the feast between the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians. (Though I do find it tragically fascinating that what began with natives offering the Europeans food and showing them how to survive in the New World escalated to tribal decimation and smallpox blankets. There are some parts of history I’ll never comprehend.) Nov 26, 2013, 13:37
just a word - November 19, 2013 bal·ance: After working on this week’s article about the efforts to improve health in our county, I stopped to think of my own habits. Like most mothers, I doubt I do very well in taking care of myself. I know I have not mastered the art of balance. Nov 19, 2013, 11:00