Columns 2001

Adidas Saga

They say the slippery slope to doom is paved with good intentions. They don't warn you how it can all start on the banana peel of modern life.

Our descent began very innocently, right after Christmas, when my older daughter mentioned that she wanted a particular kind of shoes. I replied something along the lines of "Uh-huh".

Blue Jays and Max's Confirmation

If there's something imprudent or environmentally treacherous about feeding too many Blue Jays, please let me know. I have looked at my lack of moderation in this regard, and can't see anything wrong about it other than it's awfully flamboyant for a Midwesterner of Scandinavian descent.

My husband recently brought home this year's supply of birdseed for Blue Jays. It's a variety of stuff, especially cracked corn, that Jays can't resist. We stuffed the feeders and then I go out to toss more seeds on the grass, on the rocks by our pondette, under the pines, here and there.

Thank You Notes

My son received many presents on his Confirmation Day. By the end of that week, he'd also written his thank you notes. It isn't that hard to get a 14 year old boy to do this. All you do is smile, tell him how proud you are of the young man he is becoming, and then inform him there will be no TV until his notes are written.

Utah River Trip

I do not love to camp -- my ideal vacation would involve a sofa and a stack of books. Nevertheless, I have just returned from five days of canoeing, kayaking, and wilderness camping along Utah's Green River which is the river that wends through Canyonlands National Park. The experience was about as far as a person can get from overstuffed furniture.

Watching them Drive

I was at my computer, quietly writing, when my 14 year old son appeared at my side, alarm in his voice. "Mom! My kayak paddle wiggles in the middle!"

I sighed as the thoughts I'd just been having crowded out to the edge of brain and fell straight to the floor like spent confetti. This happens to me a lot.

I looked up. He was holding the errant paddle. A kayak paddle is really two short canoe-ish looking oars that screw together in the middle. It needs to be very stable so it doesn't flop around when a person is on the water.


This week our nine year old had four baby teeth extracted because they were blocking the emergence of her permanent teeth. Our older two kids have gone through this. I even remember the dentist of my childhood telling my mother that I had some of the slowest teeth he'd ever known.

Who wants fast teeth?

No matter, it's scary to get through big dental procedures. One needs some courage.

On Getting Older

My older kids had a teenage music station on the car radio just the way they usually do and I was ignoring it just the way I usually do. Suddenly, bursting sweetly into the air came "I can see clearly now the rain is gone....." (Johnny Nash, 1972)

Immediately all three of us burst into loud, happy (and mediocre) singing. I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel, my son drummed the upholstery to the reggae beat, my daughter laughed at us -- but she knew the words and kept singing.