Girasol

There’s an unclaimed patch of ground right next to our driveway, the planting strip between the sidewalk and the street. Over the years it’s been filled with many things. Weeds, mostly. Orange poppies. Maroon-colored amaranth that toss confetti seeds across the sidewalk. Weeds, again. This year, my husband and our youngest son planted sunflowers in […]

Redux: June Gloom

It’s that time of year again: less than three weeks until the summer solstice, and I have pulled out my down vest, wool hat, scarf, and fuzzy boots. Yes, June Gloom is reduxing, as is this post, which originally appeared in 2012. But it’s not so bad. I love my fuzzy boots. ** I used […]

A Letter to Myself: Summer is Survivable

A letter to myself, to be read in spring of 2017, when it starts getting hot again. Dear Helen: I know. The weather report is scary. It’s going to be in the 80s this week. Could be 85 by Friday. It means the worst: Summer. Is. Coming. Yeah, I know. Summer is the worst. Washington, […]

Redux: I’ll Miss You Summer

Damn you, carefree summer, for being such a fleeting thing! Trading you in for homework and sports practice and band performances…the season of school and tight schedules can be hard on bodies and souls. Parents may suffer the most, according to Niki Wilson in her lovely post from last September–now part of this special summer […]

Milkweed In Summer

Back in April, somebody at the community garden got ambitious. Weeds usually grow pretty profusely around the edges of the garden. But on one Thursday in April, when I walked by on my way to work, the weeds in the corner I pass every day had been completely turned over, in preparation for vegetables. I […]

Strikeout

Last weekend there was an unseasonal lightning storm on the coast. Not here (thank goodness, for our dog’s sake), but farther south. More than 1,400 strikes touched down across the region, with 13 people reporting injuries in Los Angeles County alone. A golfer was hit on Catalina Island, 22 miles from Los Angeles. One young […]

Dropping the kids off at the pool

This summer it’s happened three times so far. Once, I got an urgent email from the backyard pool where they have baby swim lessons. Another time, my older son’s swim teacher pulled the class out of the high school pool and taught the kids “safety skills” on the deck. And when we were at camp, […]