Only In the Movies?

The October 1913 issue of National Geographic featured an article by George Kennan entitled An Island in the Sea of History, The Highlands of Daghestan. In it, he describes a scene you might think existed only in the fevered imaginations of Hollywood directors, but which in fact took place within a year or so of the beginning of World War I, not too distant from the far away places with strange-sounding names in our news today. Read more about Only In the Movies?

Oh My Papa

One of the last things my father said to me, as I prepared to move to Seattle in 1985, was "You're never going to be normal, are you?"

A couple of years into the new century, when my brother ushered me into his presence at the nursing home, he greeted me with, "Barbara! Our first born." And then a whispered, "We always loved you best."

And I thought, I'll take that one, Dad. Read more about Oh My Papa

Westward Ho the Toyota

The best memories my son, Christopher, and I share involve a car and a road atlas. He was probably 7 or so the first time we took off together, just the two of us. We were living on the farm in Door County, WI, and every summer we headed for my parents' place on Lake Benedict in Minnesota. My husband couldn't always get away from work at a convenient time but, as it turned out, Chris and I were generally happy to get away by ourselves. Read more about Westward Ho the Toyota

My Buddy

A Horse Tale

I'm jealous. A friend of mine just bought a horse. I've wanted a horse ever since I was a little girl - just like every single other little girl I've ever known or read about. Little girls - and big girls, too - are notoriously horse crazy.

I bought a horse once. It's not a pretty story.

Back in the 70's, my (now ex-) husband and I owned a farm in Door County, Wisconsin. Eighty acres. An old farm house. A barn. An ancient but still standing log cabin. Maple woods. An apple orchard. Fields of alfalfa. Perfect for a horse. Read more about My Buddy

Musings on Media

Two things from last week: (1) Heard a report on the state of the film industry claiming that the domestic market for U.S. films is only 20%, and the foreign market demands 3D and CGI. (2) Saw Hobbit2 with my new understanding of why Peter Jackson turned a classic fairy tale structure into an action movie. Read more about Musings on Media

The Lake House

It's been about 40 years since my parents bought the Lake House.

My maternal grandparents had retired to a double-wide on land attached to the Hiawatha Beach Resort, owned and operated by members of my grandfather's family, just north of Walker, Minnesota, on Leech Lake. My mother wanted to be near them, so when my parents went looking for retirement property of their own, they found the Lake House. Read more about The Lake House

Oh! The Feasts!

"We never eat that."
"I know. Let's get two."

Has it been two years since our last Thanksgiving shopping spree? Since the last time we stopped in front of the warm 'n' serve rolls display and decided that, you never know, somebody might want one or three. Read more about Oh! The Feasts!

Casablanca

I watched Casablanca again last night. There are moments in which I know I have failed as a mother. One of those moments came a couple of years ago when my daughter informed me that she had never seen Casablanca. I ordered it on the spot and designated a movie night. Sad to say, I don't think she was impressed. I don't understand why. Read more about Casablanca