Ella Fitzgerald

My dad’s favorite singer. I miss them both. I remember sitting in Kresge Auditorium for one of her summer concerts: hundreds of Interlochen staff and campers couldn’t get seats, so they were standing outside of the auditorium when the sky opened up and started pelting them with rain. “Baby, it’s raining.” The wind whipped. “Come inside or you’ll catch your death.” The aisles suddenly filled with grateful wet, blue corduroy campers. Probably a fire hazard, but better than the lightning strikes everyone was ready to endure for her.

Provincetown: Moon River

Last night, Faith and Mavis and I were swimming upstream through people on Commercial Street towards our parked car. The moon was pressed, nearly full, above the harbor. And out of an open window at the Crown and Anchor, the whole bar appeared to be singing Moon River together.

Wading in May

May as a teenager. School year wrapped up. Working on the Huffy’s bike tires, busting my knuckles on the gears. Trip to Traverse City bookstore for a couple novels. Maybe checking a spy series out of the IAA library. Trading someone for floppy disks with pirated Apple II games. Maybe building 200 custom levels of Loderunner from my dad’s big desk chair in his den. 400 acre campus switching from school year to summer camp. Bike rides through the woods to check out new construction, repaired cabins, the docks going up on two lakes. Knowing the paint crew by name. Knowing the residents of each cabin. Wading across the Little Betsy where the train trestle crosses, the river bottom deepened by an eddy and cold on bare toes. Bike rides through the state park at all times of day: smelling campfires, admiring freckles, learning about boats pulled up on the beach, the moon following me home down the wide path between white pines.

Turtle the Dachshund

You know, this whole dachshund experiment has been interesting. She is a loyal whisker. But I don’t think she knows there is a line of 29 smart dogs (maybe 80!) ahead of her in the wits department. I’m not even sure she understands the idea of standing in a line.

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Blessing of the Animals

Having attended a couple years of Catholic School, Mavis has a lot to share with her dachshund (named, Turtle) who she has raised Catholic. This began with several “Blessing of the Animals” at St. Pius X in Baltimore, where Turtle got a lot of attention. In contrast, Mavis is convinced that Wookkie, the shih-tzu puppy, is a practicing buddhist. Curiously, Wookkie leans towards the democratic party, whereas Turtle is a strong libertarian.

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Tarantula

I don’t mean to be overly critical of my housemate, Rapunzel, the rose-haired tarantula, but although she is elegant in many ways, her web-spinning mostly consists of dropping silk over patches of her mulch-filled apartment. Like wall-to-wall 70’s white shag carpet.

Provincetown sleeve

Driving to Provincetown on Saturday with Faith and Mavis for an annual longing gaze at a village composed of hardy figures. Blue heron. Activist. Portuguese fisherman. Artist. Small business owner. Writer. Housekeeper. Gardener. Baker. Public radio DJ. Waitstaff. Park ranger. Busker. Librarian. Cat on the side street. Spider in the window. Whale in the harbor. Squid on the pier. Cranberries in the bog. Vikings in the sand. Heart on the sleeve.