10 Rules for Living in a Yurt

(October 11, 2018) When my husband and I arrived in Humboldt a year ago, like many newcomers, we struggled to find a place. We spent weeks in $100-a-night slum-o motels while looking for...

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You're Doing Good

(July 19, 2018) Dear readers, As of Wednesday, I'll no longer claim the job title "journalist." It's not a title I ever thought I'd carry, but my team at the Journal thought I...

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A Mother Gets Through Graduation Season

(June 14, 2018) As June approached, I opened my mailbox to an assorted collection of high school graduation announcements. Just as it once seemed that everyone I knew was birthing children, it now...

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Reflections on Black Bear

Fifty years later, a new book captures life on the commune

(May 31, 2018) I never would have written a book like this 50 years ago when we first started the Black Bear commune. We knew we had to keep secrets then. People...

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A Country to Call Home

(May 28, 2018) It’s 8 a.m. in Ioannina, (pronounced Ee-Yah-neena) a college town of about 100,000 people that dates back to the 6th century in the Epirus region of Northwestern Greece. The town...

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Excerpt: 'The Recipe for Chimichangas, or How I saved the Commune'

(May 23, 2018) I promised more about the commune. First thing to understand: As a crowd of people intent on building a utopian community in the wilderness, we didn’t bring much baggage....

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Five Ways to Honor the Departed

Without keeping all their junk

(March 29, 2018) The last joke my grandmother told was a yellowed newspaper clipping, left in an envelope in her desk drawer for us to find after she died. It was a humor...

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Oldylocks and the 3,000 Stairs

Back to college as a full-ass adult

(February 1, 2018) If anything was to dispel my notion of being a young person who deserved some kudos for "adulting," it was going back to Humboldt State University at 37. Compared to...

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(January 18, 2018) I grew up in rural Maine in the 1960s. We lived a couple of miles outside of town. When I finished grammar school and prepared to enter the seventh grade...

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A Year After the Women’s March

(January 18, 2018) Last year at this time, I was preparing for the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. — crossing the country to don my “pussy hat” and raise my fist alongside...

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