Thoughts on Home

harbor with small islands

How I Live Here

Thoughts on Home

In a collection of essays titled How We Do It in the March issue of Down East, writers answer the eternal question about life in Maine that I had long ago — what on earth do these people do here? — with wit and bracing clarity. Here’s my How We Do It story.

Read More
In Defense of January

In Defense of January

Sarah's Blog

It’s only January — the road ahead is long (and probably treacherously icy), but for now, I’m trying to look at the bright side of these darkest days of the year.

Read More

About Last Weekend

Thoughts on Home

Last week, I chaperoned a field trip to the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth with a group of first- and second-graders. We used nets to scoop up fish, tadpoles, and algae (or “allergy” as my kids call it), and talked about the pond ecosystem, but it was an improvised activity that has stuck with […]

Read More
Reid State Park

The Limbo Season

Thoughts on Home

Here we are in not quite fall, a.k.a. the time of year when I force my family to eat homemade soup on a 75-degree day and burnt-orange mums mingle awkwardly with fuchsia geraniums on our back deck. On the front porch, an urn of ornamental cabbage and fountain grass looks similarly at odds with the […]

Read More

Hero Worship

Thoughts on Home

When my older son was three, he gave an aggressive pruning to a peony I had in a vase. Reading my face when I took in the pile of petals before him, he said, “We need to get Daddy to fix the flowers.” This ingrained belief that Mark can repair (or regenerate) just about anything, […]

Read More

Beauty and the Beasts

Thoughts on Home

Living in Portland, we don’t have to contend with as many creatures as suburban and country folks do. There are the voles, of course, that dig up our lawn, the Japanese beetles that ravage our sand cherry, the slugs that slime and munch on our annuals, and whatever recently beheaded our crocuses and burrowed behind the front porch […]

Read More

Mother’s Day

Thoughts on Home

There are moments with my family when my thoughts recede and I feel as though I’m viewing a scene through the eyes of my future self. When I’m “looking back,” the peripheral drama and frustrations fade away and I see only the visceral beauty in a particular snippet. The mental separation also brings the fleeting […]

Read More

Town and Country

Thoughts on Home

The other day, the sound of chainsaws on my Portland street, and the accompanying scent of freshly cut tree limbs, instantly transported me to my family’s first home in Buxton. I only lived in the small ranch my parents built in the rural town until I was five, but the memories I have of stacking […]

Read More

Dialing Back Dinner

Thoughts on Home

The most efficient professional women — the ones who balance career and family demands while also finding hours each week for exercise and leisure activities — don’t give much thought to dinner, time management expert Laura Vanderkam told me for a story I wrote a few years back. Analyzing hour-by-hour time logs from 143 working […]

Read More

Absence and the Heart

Thoughts on Home

Last week, Mark was away at a work conference for four days and four nights, not that I was counting. Sensing the void, and vulnerability on my part, my older son requested pancakes for dinner on the first evening, which we followed up with a maple syrup-fueled dance party to the Trolls soundtrack. Things started […]

Read More