Category: Stories

Scylla’s Potatoes

There were not many gardens in my childhood, and the few that come to mind are not exactly traditional. This fact threw me off for many of my early years as a garden writer. That I did not have a quaint story with a family farm, a vegetable patch in the yard, or an elder who passed on gardening know-how made me think I was a pariah trying to enter a party to which I was not invited.

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Childhood, Gardening, Stories

Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day we celebrate women who inspire us, who accomplish great things. Women we look up to. I’m not going to do that. Instead, I am going to recognize the women who shaped me, for better or worse. I always qualify with those words, because so little was better; much was worse. But they are my kin. My lineage.

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Childhood, Stories

Forty-Nine

I’ve been thinking about my stepfather a lot lately. It’s been hard not to since we moved out of the city and to a small town in Niagara. He worked for the canal. We live right by it now, drive past it regularly, and sometimes hear the ships from our home as they make their way up and down the escarpment from one Great Lake to another.

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Childhood, Stories

Happy Parking

Earlier this evening, while slow drying a batch of our own homegrown tomatoes in the oven, Davin made a joke about the drying process to the tune of Rush’s “Closer to the Heart.” I’ve tried to replace it with “Subdivisions” (a superior song), but it refuses to come unstuck.

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Childhood, Photography, Places, Stories

Bone

With Day of the Dead just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about cemeteries, death, the way we deal with remains, and how those practices vary around the world. Wherever I go, I always try to check out the cemeteries.

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Photography, Places, Stories

Crosses

In a piece called “all about my mother,” author Jeanette Winterson tells the story of how a loveless upbringing led her to become a writer. She describes her mother as distrustful of books, a condition that lead to a stark void of reading materials in their home. There were six books in all, one of which included the Bible and two others that were commentaries on it.

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Childhood, On Writing, Photography, Places, Stories

This is Your Paradise

It took a year, but we’ve finally cleared all of the boxes from a small, trapezoid-shaped room that we’d hoped would serve as a guest quarters where we can also read, listen to music, and play music (we have instruments but can’t really “play” any of them).

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Photography, Places, Stories

Thunder Road

It’s the song of the summer of 2011, which is hard for me to grasp, even now, having listened to the entire “Born to Run” album countless times and knowing that I will likely listen to it countless times more before the summer is fully out. And probably even after still.

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Photography, Places, Stories

Bath Road

Dominicans are considered to be very modest and religious people. They do not take kindly to revelling holidayers that walk the streets in bikinis and clingy mesh shirts. [Who among us does?]

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Childhood, Stories