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  • On a subway with a cigar box of rainbow colored threads
    2/19/2020 I spent the weekend in New York City.
    I hadn’t been to New York in quite a while. I was performing at a theater conference and so was traveling alone, without my husband, Peter.
    New York intimidates me — as all big cities do. I am not a nervous traveler, generally, but I keep my possessions close at hand and my eyes open — which is why I noticed the young man in the black athletic shirt on the subway.
  • A night at a historic funeral home
    2/11/2020 “What do you think?” my husband, Peter, asked about the link he’d sent me as we prepared to head home from the holidays.
    “The funeral home?” I asked.
    “Yeah, that one.”
    “I thought it was a joke.”
    “No, it’s right on our way.”
  • Performing with a cowboy in New York City is life’s next challenge
    2/5/2020 I want to start out by making it clear that I have nothing against cowboys.
    One of the new developments in my life is that I recently got a manager, Bob, to book performances of my writing. I’ve never had a manager before, so I didn’t know what to expect. But Bob is a wonderful fellow. He says he thinks of the folks he represents as family—which is something a lot of people say, but I get the feeling Bob actually means it. So, I was eager to keep Bob happy. But then he suggested I perform with a cowboy.
    “Carrie, I know this is a crazy idea, but I want you to think about it!” Bob said.
  • Amazement that comes with finding something dear that once was lost
    1/28/2020 I lost a feather the other day and I understand this does not qualify as news.
    But I want to say—for the record—that this was a really nice feather. I paid good money for it and pinned it to my favorite blue hat. I wore that hat out for a walk, one evening, when it was chilly.
  • Living your best life on the season’s edge makes you appreciate little things
    1/21/2020 “I like the edge season!” my husband, Peter, said, as we watched the moon rise over the mountains and felt a chill breeze rise with it. As far as I know, Peter invented this expression. He might have meant the “season’s end,” but I like the idea of the “season’s edge” better.
    Peter and I are staying in the south of Spain and, even here, the season is changing. Restaurants that have been open all summer and fall are finally giving their employees a few days off. Menus are changing, hours are shortening, outdoor tables are now used only during the day and only on days that are sunny. Clouds suddenly appear over the mountains and the diners scatter, looking for somewhere cozy indoors.
    And I agree with Peter: I like it.
  • The mysterious "Cookie Situation" of the Atlantic
    1/14/2020 “People have been asking about the squeaking of the ship,” our captain reported, somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic, “but I must tell you, this is nothing to worry about.”
    He then proceeded to explain how a ship needed to give in heavy swells, just as an airplane had to flex during flight. “Otherwise,” he explained cheerfully, “the ship would snap in two!”
    I’m not sure this was the reassurance worried passengers were looking for.
    My husband, Peter, and I are on the second week of our trip across the ocean. The final stop at port has been cancelled due to storms in the Atlantic. This means we will have seven straight days at sea.
  • “Transatlantic Turnaround”
    1/8/2020 My husband, Peter, and I are returning from Spain by boat. The whole idea started when Peter read a book about the sinking of the Lusitania.
    “That sounds like fun!” Peter told me, as he read.
    “Death at sea?” I asked.
    “No, the part before that!” Peter clarified.
    Peter thought the idea of a cross-Atlantic ship sounded fun and romantic. He began investigating transatlantic trips and once Peter starts investigating a thing, it’s as good as done.
  • Sparkles
    12/31/2019 I glanced up as the bells rang to herald new customers walking into the used clothing store. I was looking for a pair of warm dress pants. Visiting my parents in Minnesota, I had forgotten entirely about the possibility of extreme cold and the idea of going out that night in tights and a skirt seemed preposterous.
    Luckily, I found a like-new pair of black jeans with just a little sparkle on the pocket for a good price. I was wandering around the store with these jeans in my hand—just in case I saw something else that I might need—while I waited for the line at the check-out counter to get a little shorter. Maybe I could find a silver jacket, I thought, that would look nice on a cold winter night.
  • The Lost Feather
    12/27/2019 I lost a feather the other day and I understand this does not qualify as news.
    But I want to say—for the record—that this was a really nice feather. I paid good money for it and pinned it to my favorite blue hat. I wore that hat out for a walk, one evening, when it was chilly.
  • 12/17/2019 It is the tender cusp of Christmas.
    It is that time when emotions run close to the overfill point, when sentimentality and anger and depression and euphoria mix freely together, with not enough space between them to tell the difference from one moment to the next. 
    I am visiting my parents—and of course this does not help. 
    My parents are doing well (thank you for asking). They are in their eighties now, still living in their dream cabin in the woods and, although I know they are growing older, the signs are so incremental and their attitude so upbeat, it is easy to deny the passage of time when I am with them and imagine I am a much younger person than I actually am. 
    Yesterday, we stopped at the local greenhouse in the small town near their cabin. It was unbelievably cold. I don’t know why I couldn’t believe it; I grew up in the cold and was raised with the idea that extreme cold was a signpost of Christmas and a litmus test for true Christmas spirit. But the truth is, I haven’t lived in a very cold place for a while and the cold stole the breath out of me. 
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