Category Archives: Uncategorized

An Encore of the Mercy Bird’s Message

AS A KINDERGARTNER, MY BOY Carl plucked a forgotten stuffed bluebird from the avalanche of plush toys in his closet and — for reasons still mysterious — named it “Mercy.” Given the warlike tendencies of this bird in nature, the … Continue reading

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Bootleg stuff of family life can make, not break, a story

DURING THE HOLIDAYS I LEARNED that nothing clears a proverbial room faster than announcing a head lice infestation underway. Our family had just settled in with my in-laws at their home in Grand Rapids, Mich. — just begun to slow … Continue reading

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Cherishing that Silent Night in the NICU

CHRISTMAS FLOATED AWAY THAT DECEMBER like a snowflake caught in a gust after the birth of our third son, Ray, at Longmont United Hospital. “Does he look like anyone in the family?” the nurse asked, hopefully. Minutes later, at about … Continue reading

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Earthy ER visit first gift of Christmas

AS RAY AND I WAITED FOR the doctor in the emergency department my boy swiped a hot pink Band-Aid and promptly dropped trou to stick it on his private part. For several days our first grader with some special needs … Continue reading

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“Turkey Through a Straw” No Deal Breaker

FOR ALL THE GOODWILL THAT surrounds the Thanksgiving feast in America, my family came to describe our experience year after year in the 1970s and 1980s with one phrase that makes us sound like a bunch of ingrates. We dubbed … Continue reading

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Down-to-Earth in Brave New World

FOR ALL THE VISUAL FASCINATION 3-D glasses bring to any IMAX show, the “Let ‘Em In” snippet from the 1976 Wings’ hit in “A Beautiful Planet” rings in my ears as we face this brave new world of underdog U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Sure, … Continue reading

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Lost-and-Found at Rocky Mountain National Park

WIND OFF THE NEARBY CONTINENTAL Divide by now has erased the footprints our group stamped around Rocky Mountain National Park searching for my lost boy at sunset last Sunday. But the scramble to find Andy, 8, as we did, haunts me … Continue reading

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The Bread-Making Method of Bringing Up Kids

  AT   OUR HOUSE WE ONCE called the dinner hour The Witching Hour — a time so bedeviled that my husband often took a deep breath before opening the backdoor by the kitchen after a long day at the office. … Continue reading

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Patty’s Porch Light Shines on Over America

USUALLY, I WRITE STORIES ON our kitchen table — the one so rickety that milk spills from the kids’ cups if you bump it and causes everyone else to eye it with contempt as campfire kindling. It came from Grandma … Continue reading

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Love Without Labor

WHEN RAY’S BEST FRIEND IN first grade came over for a backyard cookout last weekend, she presented a dozen long-stemmed yellow roses from her family and a heart full of wedding plans. Gracie reminded her mother several times that week to … Continue reading

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