The Grocery-List Tattoo

May 23, 2015 by Molly Fisk


I’m going to start writing grocery lists on my arm, so I don’t forget the milk. Younger people will think I’m nuts, but I don’t mind.

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Spring Breaks Out in Portland, Oregon

May 12, 2015 by C.A. Carrington


By C.A. Carrington

C.A. Carrington, our Portland Correspondent, answers our Invitation urging writers to render spring in their part of the country.

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Molly Fisk: The Greeks Have a Word for It

May 9, 2015 by Molly Fisk


By Molly Fisk

When did “spaghetti,” which is what it was called when I was a kid, turn into “pasta”? And what does it mean when this sophisticated term comes out of the mouths of 10-year-olds? The same thing happened to “sherbet.” It disappeared, and now we say, sounding very swank, “sorbet.”

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Molly Fisk: Three Cheers for the Ordinary Human!

May 2, 2015 by Molly Fisk


By Molly Fisk

I came to this coffee shop today because this is where I wrote my first essay, in October 2004. I wanted to see what it felt like to write my 170th one here, too.

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: Spring In Northern California: Newts, Stellar’s Jays, and an Exuberance of Wildflowers

April 26, 2015 by Judie Rae

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By Judie Rae

Nevada County is blessed with miles of hiking trails, each one a separate treat. On the trails that are near water, Sierra newts put in a spring appearance. Their bright orange bodies stand out in the crystalline water, where they swim and bask, amusing watchers of all ages.

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Molly Fisk on Birdsong

April 25, 2015 by Molly Fisk


By Molly Fisk

The birdsong chorus is a wonderful melee, a beautiful cacophony, both melodic and chaotic, a crazy din. It reminds me of the way Utah Phillips sometimes ended his concerts.

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: In Seattle, Swooning Over Spring

April 20, 2015 by Toni Myers

wvfc toni dogwood+garden+2

By Toni Myers

Two weeks ago, our frequent contributor Toni Myers found herself so captivated by the lush beauty of Seattle in the spring that she sat down and wrote this “Ode to Demeter and Persephone.”

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: In Coastal California, It’s Almost Always Spring

April 19, 2015 by Susanna Gaertner


By Susanna Gaertner

Each year in early March the UCSC Arboretium gets hundreds of visitors eager to admire and photograph the mighty hummingbirds as they feed on red (their favorite color) grevillea and perform their 70-mph dives for mating displays.

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OUR SPRING INVITATION: Ah . . . April in Paris . . .

April 18, 2015 by Tish Jett


By Tish Jett

When I was in Paris earlier this week, I saw the most exuberant signal that spring has finally arrived: the chestnut trees in full bloom. I was conscious, once again, of that crystalline light that I associate with the city in printemps, particularly after the long, gray winter.

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Molly Fisk: Uncluttered and Standing Proud

April 18, 2015 by Molly Fisk


By Molly Fisk

Oh, the pleasure, the satisfaction! A desk with no coffee rings, no inky thumbprints, no dead mosquito hawks! A desk with all those snaky electronic cords elegantly corralled by plastic cable-ties! Who knew that a fabulous 50-cent bright green cable-tie from Korea could work better than any antidepressant?

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: In Massachusetts, Awaiting the Peepers

April 12, 2015 by Judith A. Ross


By Judith A. Ross

The earliest signs of spring have gained a more personal meaning over the 20-odd years I’ve lived in my house just west of Boston. Their yearly return has become a reminder of my own resilience.

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Molly Fisk on Sniffing Around

April 11, 2015 by Molly Fisk


By Molly Fisk

Something about heat-soaked eucalyptus bark overlaid with a slight salty note from fog coming in off the Pacific is absolutely unmistakable. Marcel Proust had his famous madeleines. For me, taste is evocative, but scent is the sense most closely tied to my memory.

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: In Minnesota, Remembrance of Springs Past

April 10, 2015 by Diane Dettmann


By Diane Dettmann

As soon as the barn door opens in spring, Midwestern cows burst into the open fields and frolic—yes, frolic—in the grass.

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April 9, 2015 by Stacia Friedman


By Stacia Friedman

On the arrival of the first warm days of spring, Rittenhouse Square, the poshest piece of real estate in the city, turns into a beach as office workers and students spread out blankets and strip down to, well, their tattoos.

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OUR APRIL INVITATION: In New York City, a Many-Pleasured Spring

April 4, 2015 by Nancy Weber


By Nancy Weber

“Open the gates!” Spring cries. “Open the windows and let the new air in! Open the baseball season . . . open the sidewalk cafés . . .”

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