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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A Love Letter to Arcata High's Class of '87

(August 24, 2017) I am in a state of panic, deep-cleaning the refrigerator. I have also vacuumed the garage and deadheaded every petunia on the property. In a text this morning, I told...

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Bright Lights, Small Town

The annual allure of the county fair

(August 24, 2017) Growing up in Humboldt County, there was nothing more exciting than the day my parents would announce that we were going to the Fair. They would bundle us kids...

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