Category Archives: Suburban Eden

My Brother-In-Law Flew 30 Pounds of Crawfish Up Last Saturday


I’m not the first artsy type to dream of the creative utopia.

This morning alone, I read blog posts by my dear Marian, by the clever Julie Gardner (whose Today Call Me Bo-curious post actually inspired this post in a weird way), Cheryl, Nichole, and Katie, the Red Dress triumvirate of awesome, and Mandy, who might be the other half of my brain.

Before the week is out, I’ll read pieces by a dozen other writers who have–in addition to blogs, day jobs, families, and new babies–greater literary ambitions.

How on earth are we going to write these novels/memoirs/books with bills to pay and kids to watch? Besides by drinking heavily and/or giving up sleep altogether?

Here’s my 21st Century Writer’s Commune concept:

A modest suburban development–perhaps a cul-de-sac?– of 2-3 bedroom houses with yards that blend into one another. There are schools nearby, decent ones, and a public park, preferably with a pond or lake for swimming and watercraft. We all move in and set up a rotating schedule of collective duties, , gardening, childcare, errand running.

We, the writers, get to work when we’re off-duty, while our children are cared for by people we know and trust, right in the neighborhood. We share resources, gardens, eggs, family meals, expertise in non-writing topics, writerly advice. Our non-writer partners are free to pursue their careers free from the strain of a crazed writer with spinny-eyes and stained pants wandering their houses looking for the children/dog/cat/fish/clean underwear (what? that doesn’t happen at your house?).

What do you say? Are you in?

The Small Boy’s Egg Hunt

We Are Not Alone, and They Like to Play in the Snow, Too!



The Small Boy's First Snowman!




O Christmas Tree!

Night Sky

Standing on my back porch just now, watching the constellations appear as my eyes adjusted and compensated for the light pollution, with the moon’s low belly and a wayward cloud hanging in the Eastern sky, I got lost in the vastness.


My jades are dying.
Candied emaciation
Their angel of death.

Tiny Harvest

I’ve been harvesting lettuce for weeks now, but today we harvested actual vegetables!

The Great Pumpkin; or Good Things Come from Neglect

Last fall, my Mom took Felix to her local garden store to pick out his Halloween Pumpkin.

Yes. I know he’s wearing the fire helmet backwards. He wasn’t yet two. So?

So, when I asked him if he wanted to cut out a face for his jack-o-lantern, he looked at me as though I’d suggested lopping off one of his limbs.

“I don’t WANT you to cut it!” he yelled, indignant.

Needless to say, we didn’t have a jack-o-lantern, which was okay, since we trick-or-treated with friends two towns over, and Mark would never leave a lit candle on our front porch. He’s the paranoid smart one.

An uncut pumpkin will keep nicely on a front porch as November arrives in New England and the temperatures drop. Ours stayed right where it was through the first snows of December, into frigid January, until Mark plopped it in an adjacent plant pot so its eventual decomposition wouldn’t stain the mahogany decking on the front porch.

And there it sat. Until I moved the whole pot to the backyard gate, intending to compost the contents and recycle the cracked plastic pot, in early April. Two weeks ago, I noticed that a small, fuzzy pumpkin leaf was sprouting from the ruins.
Two days ago, I saw that a full fledged pumpkin plant was living in the pot.

Today, it has a proper home.
So the cycle can continue…