Today we toured a house that’s for sale on our block. We walked through in stocking feet, talked about the wiring, wondered at the cracks in the cement in the basement. Cement in the basements. The smell of basements. Basements carry the smell of childhood. Even if a basement doesn’t smell like my Grandma’s basement, […]


Desire  by Nancy Schatz Alton He said, There’s still time. I held his words. Where does desire live? Within my tightly coiled calf muscles. These legs that ran the playground parameter twice. One mile, 3pm. There’s still time. Another 4th of July. One more song on the radio that lights me up. If I hold […]

Monday Longing

We’ve rearranged the pictures in our house. It’s discombobulating. It’s like I live in a museum. I mean, I do live in a museum that chronicles the last 20 years of our lives. There’s a painting of my father-in-law, painted by my husband. A painting by Liz when she was maybe in 2nd grade. I […]


Mine  by Nancy Schatz Alton I have a body and a mind: it is mine. It’s mine to redden: I am blush all over. I’m the tart lemon I squeeze into my mouth after I dress the green avocado. I’m the sum of everything that came before & I often can’t decide what will come […]

Real Lives

I read about other people’s lives and think their lives sound so interesting. But it’s also true that the author has made a story out of their lives: maybe it sounds more interesting than it really was, or actually the drama I am reading about was really hard to live through. I  don’t want to […]


Wintergreen, mint-green, light-green a hatchling drawn & cut from textured fabric the rhythm of its making sounds like the dark rain needle & motor hammering dark rain meeting rooftop while her seam stitches wintergreen, mint-green, light-green darts in a circle loose around her waist a party of a dress perfect for California worn in Seattle […]


I’m working in a bookstore now, the local one up the hill. The one I visit when I need to see people, when my office gets lonely, my home emptied out of my family. My husband’s been saying for years that I should work in a bookstore, that it will soothe my social needs. Something […]


I think this is when blog writing gets hard. The days are growing short. The wet seals us in with a new level of coldness when the thermometer hovers around 40 degrees all day long. My youngest has been waking me up in the middle of the night and my own allergies mean I’m not […]

November Rain

A Chinook storm has blown in. The rain is coming down hard and steady and its rivers are flowing down the street into the drains. Last night the atmosphere was gathering its strength and warmth into turbulent masses above our house. The planes flew low, their engines loud and their sound all encompassing. My kids […]