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April 21, 2014
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Root Cellar

‘The Word Police’

I have acquired a new nickname. The other night at dinner my family bestowed upon me the new moniker of “The Word Police.” As in “What are you anyway—the word police?” (I picture tickets, sirens and flashing lights.) All for pointing out the juvenile overuse of the word “gross.” For despairing of children’s voices in an over-zealous shout of the phrase “boo-yah.”  Read more

Francis

There is an African saying from the Fang tribe: “When an old person dies we say a library has burnt down.”

So it could be said for my uncle, Francis Dirig, who died just before Christmas, at the age of 86.

His obituary reads simply: “He was a logger and farmer all his life…” But within this spare line lies a whole world of life and work and knowledge that tells of a vanishing time and place.  Read more

Snow Days

The amaryllis bulb from Christmas is beginning to bloom, bringing a little brightness and green to my windowsill, but outside the snow is coming down fast. John and Sam are out shoveling and we are in the middle of a predicted three-day storm that has extended the three-day weekend from school that my kids already had to four days—and counting.  Read more