Field Notes from the Slopes of Kilimanjaro

There are squashed slug guts on the floor of my hut, which is located about one-third of the way up Mount Kilimanjaro. I feel bad for the slug, who just sort of exploded under my sneaker when I was looking at the drawings on the hut’s roughhewn walls. But I’m so damn happy about all…

You Can Go Home Again And Again

Dears, We’re headed back to Vermont in two days for two weeks. Wasn’t it August 25 just four minutes ago when we arrived in Abu Dhabi? Nope. It was four months ago. And so very much has happened since then. I think it’s time for a re-account, not to be confused with a recount. Actually, this whole experience has…

How To Be Happy

Dears, Happiness is not for the faint of heart. As you are aware, it’s fleeting and elusive. When I was in Africa, I was pretty sure that happiness actually was located in Asia. Once there, I longed for Africa again. When I used to read lots and lots of books as a young woman, I figured…

Everyone’s a Winner in the Blogosphere

Dear Golden Readers, I am pleased to report that a Singapore-based follower of Brain in a Jar has awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. She has a blog, too, called Frangipani Singaporenicum about her trials and triumphs while taking care of her mother who has early dementia. I like her blog because it connects me…

The Definition of a Southern Gentleman

A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out. —George Bernard Shaw Dear Genteel Readers, Since my father’s death (a phrase I still find staggering), I have received wonderful kind cards from people I don’t even know. Many, many of them say the same thing: Your father was a true…