Category: Memoir

Strange Names

“What’s in a name?” Shakespeare penned this question in Romeo and Juliet, and Rodney Dangerfield used it for one of his earliest comedy bits. No matter how strange or ordinary your name might be, it’s good to keep a sense of humor about it….

A Note On “Awakenings”

My previous post, Awakenings, was written in reflection of my step-dad’s recent passing due to pancreatic cancer.  Paul Hout was a great man.  Throughout my childhood, he and my mom had a tumultuous on-and-off relationship, and were married for a brief time.  In those…

Knick-Knacks

I remember my mom yelling at my dad through the phone, and wondering when I might get to meet him.  I remember meeting him, the sound of his laugh, the slope of his shoulder, how he rubbed his feet together at the end of…

Impaled Digits

Growing up, I had the privilege of enduring several ingrown toenail surgeries, which culminated in having a third of the nail removed on each of my big toes.  Of course, by that time I was reading a magazine and whistling to myself while blood…

Bittersweet: A Portrait of Professional Cooking

The kitchen end of the restaurant business is a fascinating industry to work in, if you’re fascinated with minds warped by the toll of long hours, intense stress, and hearing the same songs ooze out of grease-addled radio speakers. Then there are the bodies…

A Child’s Christmas in Oregon

In our little country house in the sopping-wet Willamette valley winter, heat radiated from the woodstove as my mother rubbed a cast-iron pan back and forth upon it, one hand holding a lid down tight to make popcorn the old-fashioned way.  I’d lay on…

Grandma, Food, and Cancer

I grew up in a food stamp house, allergic to milk, with a vegetarian mother and no television.  Books, cats, and a hugely-overactive imagination were my entertainment.  Once a week my mom would take me to the library and I’d check out so many books…

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