Notes from Isolation

Notes from Isolation

  *All day I watch boats from the living room window. I do other things, of course, but I always come back to the boats—yachts, skiffs, catamarans. Occasionally, there’s even a dinghy, white or blue, with a small figure aboard, paddling madly. I used to think...
Venison, Ham & Butter Beans

Venison, Ham & Butter Beans

Hiding in forested darkness armed with a .30-06 rifle is new to me. As I sit, gun on my lap, snuggled in the roots of a white pine, stars overhead fade into daylight. Chickadees mark the change with buzzing arcs. I wait. I listen. I look. Nothing happens. I think, so,...
Mystery, Menace, and Early Sorrow

Mystery, Menace, and Early Sorrow

    *Notable Essay Best American Essays and Literary Nonfiction of 2018   The dolls never slept.  They stayed wide eyed and unblinking on their shelf in my small, overheated room, watching me watch the man and woman in the apartment across the way. As a...
Archive of Dying in Union County Kentucky in 1921

Archive of Dying in Union County Kentucky in 1921

I sat on the basement floor of the courthouse reading through old death records. Outside the afternoon sun blasted the streets and sidewalks of the small Kentucky town. But down there it was cool and humid. Whitewashed stone walls glistened and streaked with dirty...
October Winds

October Winds

  Another surly October morning on Rathdangan Farm, the name of our rocky little homestead in the foothills of the Sugarloaf Range, and Mother Nature was in a nasty mood. Her swirling wind bossed the sycamore leaves around the farmyard, and wisps of her clammy...
Are Your Affairs In Order?

Are Your Affairs In Order?

  My wife and I are into season 3 of Victoria, the Masterpiece Theatre series that seems as long as the queen’s monarchial reign. It’s a slow-moving narrative in which a tea cup is picked up, put down. Then, for dramatic tension, the camera pans to a terrier...