Winter nights, even at Christmas, can be long and, in northern parts, cold. Fortunately, the Scandinavians have a traditional antidote to this frigidity: julebukking.
Photo credit: Jutta Klee via Getty Images
Late one July night, I hunched at my laptop reconciling bank accounts for our small Iowa farm. Outside, the cicadas whirred in the sentinel hemlock trees, while the window air conditioner in our bedroom around the corner fought the humid air around me. I sat flushed, my stomach roiling.
I was anxious about our struggling farm, which my husband and I were both supporting with other jobs, and about how we couldn’t seem to go a week without fighting...
My essay, "Beadwork," appears in this collection, edited by Alyssa Waugh.
Proceeds support the non-profits Girls, Inc, and No Means No Worldwide.
Women are superheroes. Strength is built into every aspect of our lives. I AM STRENGTH is a collection of true essays, poems, and art created by women from all walks of life championing our everyday struggles and triumphs.
Driftless families take education on the road.
Springing Across Time & Trade - Ted Wilson and the Nature of Dunning's Spring Bridge - Inspire(d) Summer 2018
For the summer issue of our award-winning local magazine, I talked with my friend Ted Wilson, a classical stonemason who got his start repairing stone fence on the moors of Yorkshire, Northern England. His first (and likely only) bridge spans the outflow of Dunning's Spring in Decorah, Iowa, before the waters join the Upper Iowa River.
For the first issue of this beautiful new guide, I interviewed Katie (Wiste) Bonow of Capra Nera Creamery. I first met her years ago, when as a high schooler she was working alongside her dad, Larry, as a professional fence-builder on our farm. At lunch time, they stepped into our house/office to enjoy some air conditioning for a few minutes, and Katie asked, "Did you know you have a blackberry bramble back there? The canes are hanging all over the fence." No, no I did not. Now I do. She and Larry picked the ripe fruit to take home.
This essay won the Fall 2017 contest at Parks & Points.
From judge Melissa Faliveno:
“Out of Instinct” is a profound and often arresting exploration of marriage and family, the battle between commitment and instinct, and the decision to stay or leave when our foundations start to crumble. While the narrator rides horses in the rocky terrain of Wyoming’s Bighorn National Forest with her husband and daughter, she contemplates a collapsing marriage and the idea of existing in the wilderness—ultimately, surviving everyday life—as “challenging the natural order of how things live or die."
This piece, S.O.S., is the first prose poem I've published. Many thanks to editor Roderick Bates for fiddling with formatting on my behalf.
This personal essay won Lunch Ticket's 2018 Winter/Spring Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Guest judge Christine Hale commented:
“Gut Instinct” makes powerful use of juxtaposition—between time periods and narrative lines—to create subtle but viscerally disturbing parallels between the fates of cows and of women: their service as breeders and nurses; their small, often doomed rebellions; and their ultimate expendability within a meat- and male-dominated food chain. I admire both the tonal restraint and the fierce emotional risk-taking in this memorable piece.
For this issue of Inspire(d) Winter 2017-18, I rode along with EARL Public Transit to learn how this innovative bus service is chipping away at the stubborn self-reliance of rural Iowa's drivers.
This new contest, in which my work was named Honorable Mention in Humor, gave me a chance to write about two old souls, now passed.
We will love you always, Roubin (Brown Dog) and Freckles (Gray Dog)!
For this 10th Anniversary Issue of Inspire(d), I wrote about four community-building organizations that we are lucky to have in the Driftless: Liz Rog & Brad Crawford at DecorahNow.com; Pat Longmire at Red's IGA in Spring Grove; Roxanne Schnitzler & Jessica Rediske at Red-Roxy Quilt Shop; and Greg Wennes at Sunrise Care Facility in Spring Grove
This essay (with images), about raising my only child as a homeschooled farm girl, appears in the magazine of Wild + Free, an online homeschool collective. To read this and the brilliant work of many others, consider downloading the whole 'Story' bundle, available only until Sept 30, 2017 at http://www.bewildandfree.org.