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From the Back Porch

Humor and other thoughts, including life with children, and life in general.

Pondering the Roles of Mothers and Daughters
I am reading the book, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. It is a vividly written narrative about women in China in the 1800s. As a western person, I am perplexed by Confucian society. I  wonder about the actual nuts and bolts process of how Confucian thought was implemented and adopted into daily life. more
Why Moving Is Like Childbirth
~ A Prequel to "The Snow in Maine Falls Mainly on Everything" ~
People tell you that when you have a baby that you’ll forget the pain the next time you have one. I never forget. I vividly remember the realization that a watermelon was making its way through my body and it was going to come out whether I was ready or not. I invite those who have not delivered babies to imagine said watermelon traveling through the body, seeking an exit. Pain is an understatement. more
It's Time to Fly a Flag for the World
Astronauts who see the globe from outer space immediately gain the perspective of the earth as a little ship in the universe, teaming with water and life enough to sustain us all. Down here on the ground, we suffer from the “can’t see the forest for the trees” mentality. more
Cayamo Cruise - Part 3 - On the Ship Again
Who would think that one cruise could provide so much fodder for inspiration, but it did! Dinners were the main place we were really able to share a lot of fun with our fellow cruisers. Every night, after watching the early headline performance from about 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., we went to the Pacific Dining room for dinner. more
The Snow in Maine Falls Mainly on Everything
I’ve lived in Maine now for six months. Four of them have been in winter. I have reached the point  when I now expect nothing but snow from now on. I have been conditioned. Spring, summer and autumn are from another life, like vague dreams that haunt me like a song I can’t remember. The white, cold reality seems to be the eternal state of things. I live in Dr. Zhivago’s ice palace. I live in Whoville. My soul is on ice. (Eldridge Cleaver must have lived in Maine.) My friend Melissa, who owns a gardening store, told me she feels like we’re in Narnia and the white witch’s spell is upon us. more
Cayamo Cruise - Part 2 - Off the Ship
To get on a ship and go deep into temperate waters after living in the dead of Maine winter is other worldly. Our schedule was to be at sea for a day and a half, and then stop in three ports on three consecutive days, and then have one more day at sea before returning to Miami. Our first stop was the Mexican island of Cazumel. more
Cayamo Cruise - Part 1 - On the Ship
I just got back from my first cruise. I was invited by Genevieve, my best friend from high school. This was a really cool experience because it was a music cruise. A company called Sixthman partnered with Carnival Cruise line and came up with a unique floating musical festival concept. more
The Last Time I Saw My Mom
It’s interesting how parts of our lives are a blur when we look back on them. Certain details stand out and we forget the rest. Twenty two years ago, I got a phone call to come home for a few days because my mom was dying. She had been ill with cancer for four years but she was finally losing the battle. more
Conundrum
Driving home one day during a thunderstorm, my little boy, Tadin, and I saw a pathetic, little, brown beagle struggling uphill through the farmland, her little face pelted by the rain. I noticed her worn-out looking underbelly and could see she had some puppies somewhere, so I decided not to stop and bring her home because I didn’t want her pups to starve. Tadin and I hoped she made it home all right. more
Size Is Important After All
Looking at a tree outside my window I saw a tiny sparrow perched on a branch. I wondered what it would be like if there were little bird-sized cats crawling around the branches the way that squirrels do. What havoc that would eke! Eek! more
“The Epiphany of Zebediah Clump”
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