Clippings: Hey, I was just being colloquial!

I never was good at math, ever. But I liked to read as a kid, and to write. I got that from my mom, who was the wordsmith in the family. When I asked her what a word meant, she just pointed to the dictionary on the music stand in the living room: “C’mon, Ma, just tell me!” I whined.Wordsmith: what a good word to describe someone who has a way with words, like an artisan, a blacksmith or locksmith or the other smiths — someone who toils with words. It’s a craft; you get better at it the more you do it.I even … (read more)

Clippings: Notes of a pandemic skywatcher

I am not a winter person. I don’t like winter. Never have. I have lived in Maine or Vermont nearly my whole life. That’s probably why I don’t like it: pure Yankee obstinacy. I don’t want to live anywhere else though, even in winter. Winter is winter in Ve … (read more)

Clippings: Hairy sidekick helps fix breaking news

For 36 years, my job was all about mingling with people. In their homes or businesses, in coffee shops, schools, office buildings, on park benches, in statehouses, homeless shelters, college campuses and packed meeting rooms. I was once accorded 10 minute … (read more)

Clippings: Obituary for a spirited rescue dog

We lost one of our two rescue dogs late last week, and one of my first responses was to write her obituary.  If I were a runner or a woodworker, I probably would have grieved by pounding the pavement or starting a new shop project, but my instinct was to … (read more)

Clippings: Freedom and justice before ‘unity’

U.S. presidential elections are often followed by calls for unity — or presumptions or hopes that unity will somehow prevail. Many of those calls and presumptions and hopes have appeared on the editorial pages of this newspaper, which was founded in 1946 … (read more)

Clippings: A summer day with fall foliage

As I write this, It’s almost painfully beautiful outside. It is the weekend of the 25th of September, on Saturday. It’s like a mid-summer day, with temperatures nearly 80, but with fall foliage hastening to turn. I drove into town on this day, late aftern … (read more)

Clippings: The importance of our local history

History has become a controversial topic, and rightly so. Much of what children and teenagers are given in the United States details history primarily centered around white supremacy and the patriarchy. This is true at national and local levels. Recently, … (read more)

Clippings: Daddy’s Big Dangerous Day

The other day my 3-year-old, Frankie, told us a story.  “Once upon a time Daddy was in the middle of the road,” she began. “On the yellow line.” My husband, Daniel, older daughter Joni, and I waited expectantly.  “And then a car came and crashed into Dadd … (read more)

Clippings: Free food was a day-long investment

You should know at the outset that I am a perimeter-of-the-grocery-store, CSA-subscribing, grow-your-own, Co-op-shopping, bring-your-own-bag, environmentally conscious kind of person when it comes to food. So when my husband asked me to go to the Middlebu … (read more)

Clippings: Pregnant during a global pandemic

I’ve never felt much like one of those beautiful, glowing pregnant people. I hear they exist, but as far as I’m concerned those folks are unicorns. It’s hard work growing a human, and if some days I’m a little dull — oh well.  At 38 weeks pregnant in the … (read more)

Clippings: London is not calling anymore

The world has changed so much so fast this year that I haven’t had the chance to feel shocked that my family’s spring break trip to London — which we spent six months planning and saving for and worrying about — has been canceled. We are a family for whom … (read more)

Clippings: Take this 10-minute challenge

I often tease my husband when he is driving because he touches his face constantly and it drives me crazy. Every 30 seconds the hand leaves the steering wheel and shoots up to his head for some reason or another. We have a running joke (though it’s not re … (read more)

Clippings: ‘Stolen time and heart’

“What do you think about that movie ‘Love, Actually’?” wrote my friend in an email several years ago. We’ll call this friend “the Lorgnette” (as in: opera glasses). “I loved it,” I told her. “What about you?” The Lorgnette didn’t like it. “I often feel up … (read more)

Clippings: The coronavirus is hurting the public’s right to know

After 35 years in reporting, I thought I’d been through a lot as a journalist. Martial law in the Philippines. A couple natural disasters — the big ice storm and rampant flooding in Addison County — in 1996. A double-murder/suicide. A visit by the Dalai L … (read more)

Clippings: Automythology: A writer drives west

One of my favorite writers is Ernest Hebert, author of seven novels in his Darby Chronicles series, and a number of other works of fiction. Hebert grew up in working class Keene, N.H., and writes authoritatively about this section of New England. He taugh … (read more)