My first trip to Texas with my Baby Girl

I have flown back to Texas dozens of times now. Year after year, I return from somewhere in the world to THE somewhere that held my little soul for all the years of my childhood. Having lived outside Texas now for nearly half my life, I notice it fresh every time – the rolling brushland, the easy mood, the crisp air, the yellow of winter grass and light blue of the big, wide winter sky. This past flight home was the first time I was introducing this wonderland to my kid. Our Baby Girl is nearing the 3 month mark,…

What I learned from my high school drum line director

I just fell down a rabbit hole on my high school Drumline Director’s Facebook page. Jeffery Scott Dudley is leaving Belton High School after more than twenty years of teaching kids to play music. Right now he’s the Director of Bands at BHS, but when I met him in the summer of 1995, he was a teacher I’d never heard of who asked me at band tryouts to clap to the beat. I clapped; he smiled. He put me on his list of students who could keep rhythm, a kid with drumming potential. I was 10. I felt discovered. That…

coming back to america: expected and unexpected

There are so many parts of reentry to America to talk about, and I’ve started to make two lists. Here’s what I have so far: Things that are really not surprising at all: Super Wal-Mart is super terrifying. For two years, I did grocery shopping the Armenian way. I chatted with shopkeepers, had coffee with my bakery ladies, and shook hands with the vegetable man. There were so many things I couldn’t find in Armenia like brown sugar, buffalo wings, or tostada shells. Still, after growing up on America’s industrial food system, it was actually thrilling to know I could…

it’s raining

Stop the presses. No, seriously, I was writing another post, stopped and took a Diet Coke to my dad out in the drive way with raindrops falling on and all around me. RAINDROPS. He left, and I just stood in the driveway for ten minutes, befuddled by all this water from thousands of feet away. I want to go out there again. I feel like I’m in the Skylark part of the Sarah, Plain & Tall trilogy. Where are you, Glenn Close, Christopher Walken? Let’s clasp hands and dance in the soggy grass!

texas is too hot

The trees have given up. Really, it’s too hot. They’re over it. It’s seems like our grass here in Central Texas just won’t grow. The trees can’t take the heat. This branch from a cedar elm was shed in desperation, if trees can experience such a thing. Over 40 days with temperatures on or above 100˚F (40˚C). I have long since melted. I arrived home to find that over half of my family’s trees have died from oak wilt, and now branches are falling. That feels sad; it feels like something I want to complain about. Then I see something…