“Meatballs & Lefse”: A Tiny Preview of Upcoming Book

  I’ve been working hard, writing hard on a new book, Meatballs & Lefse: Memories and Recipes from a Scandinavian-American Farming Life. It’s food- and family-oriented, with lots of Midwestern comfort-rich recipes, inherited from, and inspired by, my mother-in-law, Ethel Johnson Bertelsen, who lived all her life in Holmen, Wisconsin. The Preface delves a bit … More “Meatballs & Lefse”: A Tiny Preview of Upcoming Book

Dreaming of the Sonoran Desert: Metaphors for Escape in the Time of COVID-19), Part 1

Thanks to the COVID-19 virus, I’m missing Mother Nature. And Arizona. When I opened the July 2020 issue of Arizona Highways, I realized just how deep my discontent has become. Twenty-five writers and photographers tell stories of the places they yearned to see once quarantine ended, when they could clamber into a Jeep and hike … More Dreaming of the Sonoran Desert: Metaphors for Escape in the Time of COVID-19), Part 1

Who is this Woman? Thoughts on Family History and Oppression of Women

She stares off to the right, her head turned in an attempt to hide the deformity. The jutting of her lip, the sad look on her face, these things tell me something. I think they do, anyway, But I still see it, past the the curve of her nose. The closed eye, silent and unseeing. … More Who is this Woman? Thoughts on Family History and Oppression of Women

The Grandmothers

It’s the eyes that do it first for me. Then I see the pearls. She’s not smiling, but I hope she laughed, a lot. I wonder what she found funny, what humor lurked on the long trek from Wisconsin to the homestead in Washington State. How did she make a home there, amidst the loss … More The Grandmothers