30

During a visit to Lacey, Washington when I was 12 years old, grandma Christine took me to the mall to buy me a new pair of shoes. Grandma Christine alternated between being generous and stingy with me and my brothers. We were her only grandchildren for a period of 23 years and we were a …

29

In the summer of 2000, Greg’s college friends and their spouses gathered for a week in Tuscany so that they could all celebrate turning 40 years old together. We chose to stay home because Willa was only two years old and I was six months pregnant with Arlo. They vowed to repeat the trip every …

28

To be fair: Jesse wasn’t the only one in our family who got head lice. I know that I did at least once and so did Tommy. Christopher? Probably. Mom? Yup. I can remember looking through her hair when we lived in the house on Cheasty Boulevard. Here’s the thing: people who don’t have children …

27

In late June of 1976, mom decided that it would be fun to go to the Rainbow Family Gathering in Montana. She found a family fare on Amtrak and set off with me, Christopher, and our friend Rose, a lovely young woman who’d become part of our extended family. The community that made up our …

26

The other day, Jesse called to ask if I remembered the summer we stayed with Chilton outside Oroville in a large house that Chilton and his girlfriend, Danielle, finagled because we kids would be visiting for the summer. I think it was the last summer I spent over there because I started high school that …

25

Jesse and I were both born in September five years apart. Sometimes it feels like that gulf of five years made all the difference because our upbringings were so different. I was born in Washington DC when my father still held regular jobs and my mother dressed me and my older brother, Christopher, in cute …

24

One summer in the mid-1970s, Tommy and I set off on an adventure with Chilton. If Chilton were still alive, he could tell me what year (month, day) he took me and Tommy to stay with him in eastern Washington where he was working in an orchard and living in a small worker’s shack. I’m …

23

My brother Jesse loves to eat outside. At restaurants he’ll ask for an outdoor table and is even willing to wait for the privilege. Me? Not so much. It’s not that I’m completely opposed to eating outdoors, it’s more that I have a long list of criteria that must be met if I’m going to …

22

My father, Chilton, was born 76 years ago today. He was a man of few possessions so I don’t really have much that was his. I have one of his bandanas, his wallet, the records he kept (see entry number 4), a scrap of paper I removed from his wall of hand-written quips and quotations, …

21

I think we can all agree that one of the most interesting things about memories is that they are unreliable. Any time I write a story about something I remember from my childhood, I hold my breath for a while to see if one of my brothers (or my mother) will tell me that I …