The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

It was senior year in high school. I was on my last semester of PE, my least favorite class. I maintained a straight-A average in all other classes. Not PE. It alternated between a B and a C. I was feeling good. We were in our next-to last unit, the physical fitness award. I already… Continue reading The Tennis Shoe and the Broken Window

PE, OCD and Me

The day that gymnastics struck terror into my heart was in 6th grade, when Mr. Cunion decided to have us do a tumbling unit for PE. I come from a long line of weekend-couch potatoes. We didn’t do sports as a family, watch sports as a family, or pretend that sports existed. We didn’t do… Continue reading PE, OCD and Me

Pontoon Boat Disaster

My parents didn’t swim. When we went on vacation at Clear Lake, and Dad wanted to take us out in a rented pontoon boat, my mom objected.  Dad won in the end, and the five kids put on our life jackets. I think my mom did, too. I am sure my dad didn’t wear one.… Continue reading Pontoon Boat Disaster

Bricks, Ricks, & Cardboard

(re-run) The college mixer was hosted by the men in Lorch House in Friley Hall, in the heart of the Iowa State campus. Tappan House, the top two floors of my dorm, Barton Hall, was invited. Yes, I am old. Yes, dorm floors are co-ed now. This was in the days of the dinosaurs. The… Continue reading Bricks, Ricks, & Cardboard

I Stole a Dilly Bar on a Dare

When I was fourteen I stole a Dilly Bar from the Dairy Queen on a dare. It was lunch break from my junior high school, and we had an open campus. That meant we could walk across Douglas Avenue to go to the corner drugstore for candy or the Dairy Queen for ice cream. My… Continue reading I Stole a Dilly Bar on a Dare

Door Number One or Door Number Two?

(re-run)\ It was all because of a blizzard. Well, sort of. I wanted to go to Minnesota to see the boyfriend I’d broken up with five months before while we were in Europe. We had bought Eurail passes and had made our way across the continent, sleeping on trains, in tents, and youth hostels, even… Continue reading Door Number One or Door Number Two?

Trading Up in Omaha

Alice got a teaching job in Council Bluffs, Iowa. She decided to live across the Missouri River in Omaha in an old Victorian that had been converted into apartments. A military guy from Maryland moved in upstairs. She ran into him in the hallway after a bike ride one evening when he was coming back… Continue reading Trading Up in Omaha

Laugh More, Worry Less

The state is on fire, again. It seems that three of the last four years have been off the charts for wild fires. 2017 – Napa and Santa Rosa burned. Santa Barbara County, too. 2018 – Paradise, the town, was wiped off the map. 2019 – Because of heavier winter rainfall, the fires weren’t so… Continue reading Laugh More, Worry Less

I Wish You Would’ve Died

Imagine a white woman from Iowa teaching Spanish in a town that was one fourth Latino. Imagine coming into the classroom mid-year after a string of substitutes. On my first day, a student said, “You’re our 12th sub.  How long are you going to last?” It was a brand new middle school in Ramona in… Continue reading I Wish You Would’ve Died