A Family Memory: Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax and Surprise Connections

From The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gillman, 1966 I can still see the dog-eared paperback clear as day on the guest bedroom nightstand in my childhood home in Memphis: a mystery novel by Dorothy Gillman titled The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, my great-grandmother Gracie’s reading selection on that visit. On the book jacket a woman … Continue reading A Family Memory: Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax and Surprise Connections

Talent—or Time? Searching for the Special Sauce

I keep on plugging away at classical guitar, resurrecting this discipline I haven’t studied in so many long years. I’ve more or less worked my way through the book that was my introduction to playing, compiled and composed by one Christopher Parkening, and have moved on to some slightly more intermediate-level exercises and pieces. This … Continue reading Talent—or Time? Searching for the Special Sauce

Journal Entry: Confessions of a Christmas Control Freak

Is there any time better for derailing a self-proclaimed control freak than the holidays? I mean the Christmas holidays, and not the beachy summer vacation I’ve been coveting since we had our first cold snap, and forget about poetic hoary frost: I’m talking single digits, when the deck boards outside our back door explode as … Continue reading Journal Entry: Confessions of a Christmas Control Freak

Idling in Vermont

Some forty years after its publication Bruce Chatwin’s In Patagonia is still considered a pivotal and authoritative piece of travel writing about this 400,000-square-mile South American region. Ferdinand Magellan called the tall aboriginals he encountered there Patagones after a mythic character, it is rumored, hence its name. Straddling two countries and claiming most of a … Continue reading Idling in Vermont