friendship

A Bridge to Span the Divide

It almost ruined our friendship. A cancerous disagreement gained cells every day while it remained unspoken, avoided, skirted in conversation. The longer it remained buried, the bigger it grew, until it could no longer be ignored. Through tears, we hashed out our grievances, listened, apologized, and contended for hours over the phone and in person, […]

What We Have in Common

About four years ago, my son started a lawn business in the neighborhood. That was how we met one of our neighbors; we’ll call him Mr. B. Mr. B. is originally from Ukraine, Jewish and 101 years old. He ambles around slowly in a walker, hunched over, and wears a knit hat on his balding […]

The Mudroom Turns 4!

We have been going strong for 3 years and we want to make our 4th year something special too. We’ve added a few features such as Dear Portia, our advice column with Heather Caliri and Flashback Friday starting next week, where we’re posting a piece from the archives. There’s too much good writing on here […]

Losing and Finding Your Tribe

A lot has been written lately about “finding your tribe.” Every time I hear this phrase I am filled with excitement, hope, and also fear and disappointment. What if you have had phases in your life where you were so convinced that you had found your tribe—that you had found acceptance of who you really […]

Selling Out by Settling Down?

Like Belle, I never planned to live a provincial life. I, too, wanted “adventure in the great, wide somewhere.” I wanted it more than I could tell. But today we bought a house. An ordinary, provincial house with a two-car garage and a Whirlpool dishwasher. As we walked out of the title office, giant trees […]

Restoration After Exile

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: “Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! […]

I Learned to Really Apologize

I sat in the parking lot of the grocery store with my cell phone in my hand. People were bustling all around, running their errands and loading their cars with brimming bags, but I couldn’t get that last conversation out of my mind. No matter how I tried to push the feelings aside, they kept […]

Turning Compassion Inward

Amy sat with me on my screened porch at the lake, listening the way only a woman who has spent thirty years as a cloistered nun in a monastery, then three more years training to be a therapist, can listen. “You have compassion fatigue,” she said. “What?” I asked. “There’s an actual name for this? […]

Friends for a Season

I see them smiling together on Facebook, their photos gleefully captioned “Mom’s Night Out!” as they escape their kids for wine and pedicures. They comment on each other’s throwback Thursday pics, poking gentle fun at the teased bangs one had peeking out from under her graduation cap. I imagine they wore the matching heart necklaces […]

Requiem For a BFF

Being the new girl in 8th grade was like walking over hot coals every day. All the other kids were a part of established cliques. Hormones and insecurity are a double rip tide that pulls under all but the strongest and most resilient of us during middle school. It was a life preserver to have Karen draw me […]

Finding Love in the Present Tense

  On the cusp of womanhood, we dreamt of boys who would sweep us off our feet, play the guitar, and in the sun-drenched summer days of southern California, carry a surfboard under muscular tanned arms. We wrote bad poetry and were waterlogged from long days at the pool. We ate cookies, drank Coke, and […]

The Fringe Hours That Fuel My Life

The lock clicks as it slides open, a loud pop announcing the beginning of the day. I had already been waiting a few minutes outside the door for the restaurant to open, rubbing my tired eyes and stretching my muscles that weren’t yet aware they were supposed to be working this early. Every Friday that […]

Reason, season, lifetime.

My list of best friends used to be long. I’d prattle off a list of 20, 30 names, believing each person held and knew and understood a different part of my core. I’d count the number of weddings I’d been not only a bridesmaid in, but also a maid of honor in, not-so-secretly believing my […]