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Baptism in Spider Lake

For my godmother, Cynthia Ekren

A couple weeks ago, a tiny spider jumped from my desk lamp to my laptop. I pay attention to these things. If it had been a big, scary-looking spider, and it was crawling on me, I would not pay much attention, which is to say I would scream and jump around until it was off me.  Read More 
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Take my religion, please.

Never has a Muslim, Buddhist, or Jew come to my house, knocked on the door, and tried to convince me to believe what he believes. But this morning, a couple of middle-aged women in calico pinafores came up the driveway and rang the bell. Church ladies: I could see it as they approached.  Read More 
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Happy birthday, baby girl.

Today, my sweet baby Madeline would have been 20. Of course, she wouldn’t be a baby, although I’m assuming she’d still be sweet. But honestly, having raised two of my offspring to their teen years, genetically speaking, it’s not pure-cane sugar. There’s a certain predisposition, not necessarily bitter, but a healthy skepticism. Yes, I’d like to think we shared that. Read More 
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Intractable Me

Like so many disputes through the ages, it all goes back to a tractor; specifically, a Farmall H. It was a gift from my father-in-law to his son. We lived on 80 acres of sand, and though Mark was never going to grow a crop of food to sell, he did aspire to a mighty big vegetable garden. He hadn’t let go of the idea of building a trout farm, but had long since given up on being the first pot-smoking president.  Read More 
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