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Archive for the ‘growing up’ Category

I’m Thankful for Homemade Pies

In every family, there’s one thing that is your “thing” and it’s a right-of-passage to learn how to do it and how to do it well. It’s usually a trade secret and something you can whip out at parties and impress your friends with. Something that is passed down by generations and a mad skill that is like nothing for you when you do it. In my family, this thing is making pies from scratch.

These pies originate where my roots do, from the Midwest. One year when I was in high school, my parents, sister and I spent Christmas with our family on their farm in Iowa. My grandpa wasn’t doing so well, so all the aunts and their families came to spend some quality time together. We turned my grandma’s kitchen into a pie-lover’s dream.

We are pie-making machines

We had three stations: crust, filling, fruit processing. The first few pies went straight into the oven and straight into our mouths. The rest were slid into gallon zip-lock bags and stacked in the deep freeze in the basement, to give Grandma something quick and easy to give Grandpa if he was being finicky. Since that winter, it’s been an unofficial contest between my cousins as to who can mass-produce the most number of pies in one pie-making session. One summer they made something obscene like 15 pies due to a healthy crop of homegrown rhubarb. I can’t compete with that. (more…)

Dear Howeberry: Hold on, baby, hold on

Howeberry, Lisa Howe, ultrasound photo, baby

Today is my sister’s due date As I write this there are 39 minutes left of Sunday, November 21st Eastern time and baby is still well inside.

“Hold on, baby, hold on.” Every text message and email that my Mom sends is signed that way. My husband and I are already here in New Jersey, but Mom and Dad don’t fly in from Seattle until Wednesday night. We’re playing baby roulette, and according to the midwives and other stories about when first babies come due, the cards are in our favor.

Dear Howeberry,

Today is your due date, but seeing how there are a few minutes left until midnight and your mama is not showing any signs, it seems as though we’ll have to wait another few days until we see you. And that’s okay. Your grandma won’t be here until Wednesday and she’d really like you to wait for her. I’d like you to wait for her, too.

You are the first grandbaby in both of our families and there are so many people who already love you. When your mom first told me that she expecting you it was by phone while I was stuck in horrible traffic.

She asked what my plans were for Thanksgiving. You see it was March and November was not in my immediate plans. (more…)

Playtime and Feelin’ Electric

Back in the day, a friend tried to change the phrase “let’s hang out” to “let’s play.” We were teenagers and pushing our way into adulthood, yet we latched on to selective sentiments of simplicity and innocence.

The term “let’s play” didn’t stick. We moved on. We grew up.

As an adult, we get pulled in so many directions. But when was the last time you just played? And I’m talking played in the sense of silliness. Playing in the way that it’s not for professional development or a hobby, but for fun. Because you want to, because you need to? Played to the point where you laughed at your own laughter?


Hey, Long Lost Friend, I Admire You

Last night I met up with one of my closest friends from college. She’s in town and we haven’t seen each other in about a year. Yes, it’s that kind of friendship.

As we talked, caught up, and jumped forward in each other’s lives, I was reminded what attracted me to her and made me want to be her friend–her strong, sometimes brash personality. This is a woman who speaks her mind and has no fear of letting it be known. She lets you know what she’s thinking when she thinks it and you’re either on the boat or a really intense conversation begins.

I admire people like that.


The Mighty Mazda: the Best Car ITW!!!



The Mighty Mazda after literally taking a "bite" out of an Oldsmobile (for the record, the insurance company ruled in favor of the Mazda)

The best car in the world is a 1989 Mazda 323 SE, 5-speed manual, with a 1.6 liter engine and it’s share of 100,000 miles. It was discovered in the suburbs, parked in a ditch, with a “for sale” sign awkwardly taped to the window. It had a sun-faded hood and plastic chrome hub caps that sparkled in the July sun. It had four doors and a trunk that was deep enough to sneak multiple teenagers into a drive-in movie. It was the perfect first car, purchased with hard-earned cash, split 50/50 with my sister.


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