Going to the Dogs

Bella, Jane's dog of many years, and my dog of a few years, is dying this Thanksgiving day. A boxer mix, throughout her life she has been given to alternately barking at perceived threats and rolling on her back to be petted. In short, she is a dog. She is also quite an intelligent dog, attuned to what's happening or what might be. And she was once quite adventurous, until arthritis set in with its pain and distortions. Until one recent day when she could no longer hobble, collapsed, and could not Read more [...]


Thanksgiving, the giving of thanks, is an utterly splendid idea, I say. In fact, I say it out loud these days, married as I am to an Episcopal vicar. And I say it at this particular time, on this particular day, because change is in the air. Really. The air is changing. It is changing from something I would like to forget but can’t. The air was full of death. No, not a metaphor. Everyone in this part of California must have had more or less the same intimation. We have been breathing the cremated Read more [...]

Up in Smoke

"Anything else?" This from the man in the local market who has just help me place three Bartlett peers in a plastic bag. I told him yes, the Bibb lettuce in plastic. He now peels off a bag from the roll by the arugula. No, I say, by "lettuce in plastic" I mean the stuff prepackaged in a transparent box. He grabs this for me. Anything else? Coconut water. What kind? One. Now, as though we are fulfilling a Marx Brothers script, he responds that, yes, he knows I want one…. One, I now explain, fatigue Read more [...]