Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.


  1. Just as we settle in at the beach, two busloads of day-campers march in, all wearing Camp Wanna Iguana tee-shirts. (No serious writer can make this stuff up.)
  2. Hot, hazy, humid, lazy at last. Full leaf.
  3. Revisiting photos of trails in the high country of the Pacific Northwest, I almost smell a spicy edge in the air or taste that incredibly blue sky. All of this imprinted, somewhere in my soul. Those days we headed to the high country for relief from the sweltering valley. Now we head straight to the Atlantic, hopefully free of the day-campers.
  4. We wonder what’s happened to the couple who had the amazing garden a few blocks over. For years they both inspired and shamed us. But more recent years have shown far less effort. Could it just be too much for two? How much food do you need, anyway?
  5. The Cold River in North Sandwich, New Hampshire, passes through a rocky stretch known as the Kettles before turning into the Grotto under the highway bridge. It’s a most glorious place to swim. But beware, it can be very chilly and after a big storm upstream, the current can knock you off your feet, especially on slippery rocks.
  6. Vanilla Bang is a misreading, of course, of what looks like a fuse.
  7. An army must be clothed and fed as much as armed and fortified, and that’s where the trouble begins. Think of all those farmers, fishermen, and merchants.
  8. The kid never, ever, accepted the word No, not from anyone. She did – and does – what she wants.
  9. In too much of what I’m reading in literature, all the Manhattan or MFA settings. Well, even I do have one that takes place, in part, in New York City.
  10. Just what is a marriage, anyway?


Hey, it's summer!
Hey, it’s summer!

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