How I Eat Salad At Work

I’ve always had trouble with lunches at the office. No matter what I took from home, it was almost always not that good. Reheated leftovers? I wanted more. Peanut butter and jelly? Just sad. At my current job, if left to my own devices, I would go to the pizza place across the street every […]

Chicken Soup for the Hurricane-ravaged Soul

About a year ago, I bought a kitchen gadget. I don’t need more kitchen gadgets, but this one, I was sure, would change my life. It’s called the Instant Pot. It’s a pressure cooker. It’s a rice cooker. It’s a yogurt maker. It’s a steamer. It’s a slow cooker. It does it all. The world […]

Friend Me

At dinner for my 18th birthday, one of my friends gave me one of those long, narrow posters filled with advice and inspiration that were popular at the time. I don’t have the poster in front of me, but there were things like this: Never wash a car, mow a lawn, or buy a Christmas […]

Guest Post: Ashes, Ashes

We’re on vacation, kayaking through mangroves near Naples, Florida. My nine-year-old is in the bow, paddling like crazy, splashing me with his enthusiasm. My husband and six-year-old glide nearby. My view is limited. Tangled mangroves line the winding watery path, obscuring what’s within and beyond. I want to go slowly, to gaze at every statuesque […]

Tea: An Appreciation

1991 or so: An overnight field trip to Wallops Island, Virginia. The tap water is hot. I convince myself it’s hot enough to make tea, and make tea in my Nalgene. Why did I even have teabags with me? I think I wanted to be the kind of person who is prepared to make tea […]

Guest Post: Filippiada, Faneromeni, Softex

I am in Greece right now, working on a series of stories about mental health in refugee camps. Yesterday I visited Softex, a military-run refugee camp outside Thessaloniki in Northern Greece where about 950 people are living in tents inside an abandoned paper factory. There were no electric lights, just sunlight filtering through a few peripheral […]

Redux: The story I won’t tell

This post first ran on Mar 12, 2014.  I was having lunch with a vegetarian friend recently, when I caught myself wanting to tell her the story. When you’re a vegetarian, a lot of people — friends, distant relatives, complete strangers — barrage you with the story. It starts like this: “Yeah, I tried going vegetarian […]