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This morning I made coconut almond granola so the house smells amazing. My mom always made granola when we were kids so it never feels daunting or weird to make it myself. In late 1993, at the end of our time in Namibia, I made a big batch of granola to take with us on …

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Greg and I were married twenty-one years ago today. In typical fashion, I printed each of our wedding invitations by hand. We think important things happen on the 19th—Greg was born on May 19th, I was born on September 19, and we were married on December 19—so it seems fitting that this is my 19th …

18

I don’t have any Christmas memories of my aunt Sharon, at least not from the 1970s. Sharon is my mother’s younger sister—immediately after her in the birth order, but separated by seven years. An aside: I think our family has an incredibly interesting generational structure. Grandma Christine had five children but spread them out over …

17

I have many fond Christmas memories. And photo-based memories of the Christmases I couldn’t possibly remember on my own, such as 1966 when we got a puppy. This is when we still lived in Washington DC and when there were just two of us kids: me and Christopher. Among Grandma Mildred’s things, I found the …

16

My grandmother, Christine, was known for her Christmas cookies and we all looked forward to them every year. She must’ve gotten started making them in October because it seemed like she had an endless supply packed carefully in Tupperware® (the real stuff) in her freezer. If a cookie recipe called for nuts, grandma used pecans, …

15

Do you remember Martin, Christopher’s free-ranging pet rat I introduced back in entry 11? I think it’s time to tell the story of his untimely demise. On Easter morning the fateful (and traumatic) year I attended 3rd grade at Lowell Elementary, Christopher found Martin on the bottom stair of the flight that led up to …

14

My grandmother Mildred died on July 2, 1989, the day before I flew home to Seattle from Washington DC, where I’d lived for six months while trying to figure out what to do next. Although I had approximately no money to my name—I “borrowed” cash from my DC roommate to catch a bus to the airport—I …

13

In the late 80’s, Eric, Erin, and I lived together in a funky old house on Capitol Hill. The house had a distinctive feature: a rounded balcony in the front held up by once-fancy columns. Our odd landlord was reachable only by mail to a P.O. Box in Tacoma so we sent him our rent …

12

Several years ago, a woman I worked for at Microsoft gave me a Christmas gift of a set of four stone coasters that have pretty pictures of birds, greenery, and a little nest filled with three perfect little eggs. She explained that she imagined that I lived in a warm, welcoming house and that we …

11

I don’t have a great track record with pets. I blame it on my early troubles with rodents: in particular, the family of gerbils I looked after during Christmas break in third grade and Christopher’s pet rat, Martin. Actually, third grade might have been the problem. Our third grade classroom featured a family of gerbils—a …