Going home

I don’t know why I answered the doorbell. I never do. Really. It’s always someone trying to sell me something—raffle tickets, candy bars, the salvation of Jesus Christ. But this time, I peeked out the window to see who might be there. A father and son stood on my doorstep. I opened the window a…

The danger in unused rooms

As I type these words, I am sitting in a room in my house I have not sat in for months. Yet, it is the one room in this house that sold me on my future abode when the realtor showed it to us. I sat on the sofa, looking out the window, taking in…

In a parallel universe

In a parallel universe, at this very moment, I am sipping coffee on my front porch. On a picturesque street, lined with maples and oaks, an elderly gentleman rides his bike by me and waves, shouting out, “Hello, Miss Kristine. Mighty fine day, isn’t it?” I wave back and smile, luxuriating in my book and…

They say I come from bitchy stock

The only time I slapped a man across the face, I think I was as stunned as he was. It was a couple of decades ago, in a Lincoln Park pub. You’d assume he was someone I did not know very well, but this was not the case. The man I slapped had been a…

We do life in this house

You know those weeks where the Universe throws a message at you again and again? And, in case you missed it, yet again? We’re having one of those in my house. We have a saying in my home: “We do life.” Meaning, we are fully human, we make mistakes, we figure it out. Rather than…

Braving dark corners

When was the last time you peered into the dark corners of your life? Taken one step further, when is the last time you peered and did something about what you saw instead of quickly looking away? Despite having put the task off for ages, that is how I spent my afternoon. You can erase…

Frick and Frack

They fly in the door, trailing snow, one with rosy cheeks, both with bright eyes. As each jostles the other for post position, they enter the family room to greet me. Frick and Frack are home after a romp in the snow. My youngest and our black Lab mix have an ever evolving relationship that…

One-sided conversations in the kitchen

When all else fails, I make my mother’s spaghetti. When weeks are hard and binging on the Gilmore Girls on Netflix does not bring sufficient comfort, a girl has to step it up a bit. I even tried Baileys and coffee in front of the fire, but alas, my mother’s spaghetti it is not. I…

Doors, windows and an open path

My walls are filled with doors and windows. By that, I do not mean three-dimensional wood and glass versions, but rather paintings and photographs of doors and windows. And paths. I did not purposefully fill my walls with these items. I think my subconscious did that for me, quietly and unobtrusively. When I realized there…

Know from whence you came

“You do not come from this.” I said it to my son, matter of factly, calmly but with very clear emphasis. The “this” at the time was—well, you fill in the blank. If you have children, you know from time to time that they test limits. Whatever it was—lying, not giving a true effort, letting…

Reviving a lost art

“Well let’s face it, who on earth besides antique dealers and gay couples actually still gives dinner parties?” –Nigel Slater, food writer Oh, Nigel, Nigel, Nigel. Tsk tsk. I recently attended a dinner party. Or should I say a dinner pahtay. Hosted by a perfectly straight couple with nary an antique in sight. And this…