Morning Sentences





Pouring the rain
pounding on the roof
rushing through the downspout
a single rumble of thunder
rolls down the valley
accompanied by a flash of lightening
then all is quiet
and the parched earth begs,
“More, please.”


A gentle rain falls
wind whispers through
the fir trees
the petrichor wafts
through the open windows
and the thirsty earth sighs,
“Thank you.”

“petrichor: the scent that fills the air when rain falls on long-dry earth

And So It Begins, or Not: Hospice

New post on Daughter on Duty.

“She’s one of the lucky ones, my mother, which means so are my sisters and I. She is healthy. Her blood pressure is outrageously perfect, her lungs are clear, she is mobile, her heart is ticking on. And her bowel sounds are good—even though when she is constipated (which alternates daily with overly-loose bowels) she thinks she has stomach cancer because her mother had it, and ‘I know the symptoms, Gretchen.’ Okay, sure, and what is it you want to do about it in the middle of Friday night?” Read more.

Following the Setting Sun Home

New post on Daughter on Duty.

“Fifteen years ago, I flew from east to west, coast to coast, to say goodbye to my Aunt Helen. She died a few weeks later. I was grateful I had said “yes” to a long quick trip. This weekend, I flew west to east to say goodbye to her brother Donald. Another last minute “yes” to a brief trip. Unlike Helen was, Donald is not actively dying—the fact that he has spent the past five weeks (save for a couple nights) in the hospital not withstanding. Still, at 105, it seems unlikely that I will see him again in this life.” read more.

The Best Years of Your Life

New post on Daughter on Duty.

“ ‘These will be the best years of your life,’ women who were the age I am now when I was a new mother, used to say to me. Those were the years I was struggling to feed my family and keep us in clothes on my then-husband’s graduate student stipend and what I could bring in doing odd (by which I mean strange) jobs that didn’t require a daycare situation. The years when I went to the grocery store and had to choose between milk and bread because there wasn’t money for both” [read more]


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