Sneaking into the Pool

(re-run) While student teaching in Venezuela, we learned how to have fun with not much money. One of the American teachers had stolen a couple of striped beach towels from an upscale hotel, and she had been sneaking into the hotel pool for years. “Just carry the towel and act like you belong,” Linda said.… Continue reading Sneaking into the Pool

The Neighbors, the Loose Pitbull, and the Daily Pooper

We bought a house on a street that was a long court with two courts coming off of it. We were up at the top, and it was a great and safe place for my kids to walk our greyhound mix dog. Until it wasn’t. “That was a short walk,” I said when they trooped… Continue reading The Neighbors, the Loose Pitbull, and the Daily Pooper

Trading Up in Omaha

(re-run) 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… Continue reading Trading Up in Omaha

Give Them a Chance

(re-run) It’s funny how something pops into your brain and you think, that would make a good blog post. Today I mailed 100 books to a librarian in Menlo Park. They are old kids’ books that my children read back in the day.  My librarian Facebook friend asked for books for her students to read… Continue reading Give Them a Chance

Peace Corps Fail

(re-run) It was in the spring of my first year of teaching when the call came. I was at Greenwood Elementary in Greenwood, Nebraska. I had applied to the Peace Corps the year before. They had just seen my application. They wanted to fly me to Chicago for an interview that weekend. They gave me… Continue reading Peace Corps Fail

My Life in Dogs

It was a dogless childhood for me, until I was thirteen. I had asked. My sisters had asked. It wasn’t until our younger brother came home from school and said that somebody in his third-grade class was giving away a perfectly good dog and could he keep it? It happened so fast. I was at… Continue reading My Life in Dogs

Women, Race and Equality

It’s hot and smoky at the beach. Fires in Napa Wine Country rage on. Those poor people have had to evacuate every fall for the past four years. I searched for my sunglasses this morning but couldn’t locate them, so I walked the big dog in my hat but no glasses. I wore my N… Continue reading Women, Race and Equality

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

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

More Machu Picchu

(part two) Christy and I finished our breakfast at the hotel up at the top and looked into the fog. The buses wouldn’t start arriving until noon. “Let’s hike up the big mountain,” she said. “Okay,” I said. My lost and found tennis shoes were too small, but I had cut out the toes so… Continue reading More Machu Picchu