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{ Author Archives }

Lazuli Buntings

For a few weeks every spring we are visited by a small group of Lazuli Buntings. Every April I catch a glimpse of their shockingly blue heads as they try to blend in with the sparrows and house finches. They are easily spooked. I barely have time to grab the binoculars, much less ever have the opportunity to snap […]

Today is February 7, 2012

   You are getting very sleepy … and when I snap my fingers, you will believe it is February 7, 2012   Today would have been the 100th birthday of my aunt and godmother, had she lived a few months longer. She spent her ninety-nine years, six months, and about two weeks in New Orleans—minus the […]

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A New Year, A New Footbed

The first week of the new year, I stopped into the local outfitters to check out some new trail boots. A knowledgable boot fitter helped me determine that it wasn’t so much a new boot I needed, but a better footbed. I knew she was right when she slipped a test pair of insoles into […]

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Death Most Fowl

Photos by Mr. Lee My mother is what one might call an impulse buyer, which would explain why my two sisters and I woke one spring morning to find live, artificially colored chicks in our Easter baskets. As she knew we would, we adored them. The three became two when Gigi, our baby-sweater-wearing French Poodle, […]

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Escape from New Orleans

{ Archive: the following essay appeared in Java Magazine in 2005 – Photos (except old family photo) by Jon Gipe } The hurricane victims landed in Phoenix wearing the same clothes they’d been in for five days. I met them at the gate, the last two off the plane. Each hugged a faux leopard skin purse […]

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Fifty-Two Square Feet

One March day in 2010, Mr. Lee woke up and began turning the dirt on a plot of earth that was once his father’s prized patch of grassy lawn. Adding dozens of shovelfuls of our friend Jerry’s magic manure, he produced two good-sized mounds of regenerated soil. The very next day we headed to Home […]

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Grave Stories

Being from New Orleans, where cemeteries are genuine tourist attractions, doesn’t make me appreciate our western variety any less. Our sometimes ornate gates and occasional elaborate headstones make up for the more plentiful slabs half buried in dead grass. Although each one represents a life lived, the chiseled facts are few. They were born and […]

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Homeland Insecurity: Initiations, Pedipalps and Negative Geotaxis

{ Archive: the following essay appeared in Java Magazine, and won Honorable Mention for Feature Writing at the Arizona Press Club in 2005 – Photos by Mr. Lee } In the master bedroom of our relatively contemporary home one might find the mosquito net hanging above the king-size bed out of place—decoratively speaking. Our bedding […]

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In Honor of Two Anniversaries and a Wedding

Mr. Lee and I are celebrating our 33rd anniversary today. He just doesn’t know it yet. He’s still sleeping, the little darling. And while he slumbers, I’ve mapped out a plan for the day. First, I’ll make him a nice breakfast. He’ll surely wonder why. We’ll follow that with a trip to Method Coffee for […]

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Not long ago I was asked to choose a song for a very special dance. “It could be a Leonard Cohen song,” he said. I was just a kid when we first met. He was even younger—and, in every way, perfect. Over the years, I learned some things from him and, in the blink of an […]

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