Losing Control Every Day

You’ve never heard a kid scream until you’ve heard one who knows his daddy is no longer in control. When the earthquake struck, I had my headphones in. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t working, I was starting to zone out a bit. Some days I’m more productive than others and this was not a productive […]

Moors: Love or Hate? Discuss.

Helen: Ann, we’re here because you said you hate moors. I am currently having a love affair with moors, so I want to know: Why? Also, we’re here because I suspect this will give us an opportunity to talk about how much we hate Wuthering Heights. Unless you like Wuthering Heights. Do you like Wuthering […]

Totality Awesome

The eclipse, as narrated by our children and their friends. Two hours before totality Adele, age 7: “What do you know about the eclipse?” Lulu, age 8: “What happens is that the moon comes in front of the sun and eats it and blocks the sunlight.” Adele: “Goes in front of it, kinda.” Lulu: “And […]

Why Am I Not There?

I’m not at the totality today, and it’s been gnawing at me. Between 1 and 7 million people are estimated to witness this swath of darkness across the middle of North America from coast to coast. I live about an eight-hour drive away, and I’ve heard totality is a mystical experience, once in a lifetime. […]

The Fall Line

I have a mild case of fatal familial obsessive-compulsive disorder. (At least, if that were real I’d have it.) Today’s obsession is the Fall Line. It’s the line that runs through the big east coast cities — New York City, Trenton, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Richmond, all the way down to Columbia SC and […]

Redux: Coming of Age in a Trash Forest

My friend Taya and I were out at her parents’ country place, about twelve acres in the western foothills of the Cascades. I was maybe eight, visiting for the first time. Taya was taking me on a tour. We were struggling along, as short-legged people do through dense, early successional Northwest forest. She stopped and […]

The Common Language of Conservation

When marine biologist Julia Lowndes started graduate school in California in 2006, she expected to spend the next several years learning about the behavior of the Humboldt squid, which had recently—and dramatically—expanded its range north along the California coast. But before she learned anything about the squid, she discovered, she had to learn to code.