Sort It Out

“It’s doing my head in,” Johnny spat at the television. “Bloody Scotland. We never should have let the bastards back of the net.” Tosh was having none of it. “If you’re going to get all mardy, I’ll leave you to yourself. You don’t give a bleeding shit about football anyway.” “I do when it’s the […]

Snapshot from 1893

This is a copy of a letter from my great aunt Sarah Herring Sorin to my great grandmother Henrietta Herring Franklin. I love everything about this. 8 West 45th St. N.Y. City Oct. 10 – 93 My darling Eat: I got Nick’s nice letter yesterday morning, and yours at noon. Hers was postmarked the 3rd and […]


I once found Whitey out in his pop’s garage, just standing there, eyes closed. The garage was kind of a monument to good intentions. Whitey’s pop was a collector of old cars. More than a collector. An enthusiast. When he’d get to talking about them, his eyes would go funny. “Found me a ’02 Wheeler Runabout rotting away in […]

Why My Father Became a Baptist

  My great-grandfather James Lewis was a Millerite preacher, as devout a man as ever lived in the village of Dresden. Washington County had more than its share of devout men in those times. Joseph Smith himself was said to have dug up his golden tablets from beneath a tree on my family’s homestead, though  Old James […]

Presque Vu, Jamais Vu

The dreams. Always, the dreams. Dreams never remembered save for impressions of hurry, of movement, a sense of familiar place, all gone in the instant of waking. Dreaming became waking life. Beginning in the night as soon as she closed her eyes, seeping like ink spilled on a blotter into the morning, into the day. Things worth remembering– a […]

And It’s Only a Flower

Two lasts of wheat 448ƒ Four lasts of rye 558ƒ Four fat oxen 480ƒ Eight fat swine 240ƒ “The price of a single bulb was more than a skilled cooper would make in year,”  her father said as he passed her the net and trowel. Twelve fat sheep 120ƒ Two hogsheads of wine 70ƒ Four tuns of beer […]

A Loyal Sister

“Don’t break the bloody thing!”  He snatched the little helicopter from my hands. “You’ll damage the camera, holding it like that.” “Da gave it to both of us, Jimmy,” I said, trying not to cry. “It’s as much mine as yours.” “Alright, alright,” he answered. “Tell you what. You can have the first go. Remember, fly […]

These Days

Dad told me when he was my age the frogs was so thick that you could fill up three buckets in an hour. These days you’re lucky to gig two frogs a week. Dad says it’s the pesticides, but I wonder if they just didn’t get greedy back in the old days. Every story I hear […]