July 29, 2020

  Rosie caught Michael’s stomach virus. There was a time when an eight-year-old with a virus wasn’t absolutely terrifying. I told myself multiple times a day that it wasn’t, it couldn’t be, it certainly wasn’t THAT virus. Not COVID-19. There was no reason to believe it was. Michael was throwing up last week. He felt like death, but then he got over it in a few days. Now Rosie was throwing up and felt like death. That was normal. That… Read more

July 22, 2020

  We went to the library and Aldi. How many times have I taken Rosie to the library and Aldi? I took her as an infant, in her carseat, when someone I know from the university drove. I hadn’t yet figured out the small, limited bus routes in Steubenville, so it was the first time I’d gone to a non-university library in years. It was a little piece of normalcy in a world of ugliness. I set her down for… Read more

July 19, 2020

  It’s one of those times where it just doesn’t rain. There was a severe thunderstorm warning for at least seven hours, a few days ago. The clouds rolled by. The air was heavy and thick with water, but it didn’t come down. Instead of cooling off in the evening, the temperature stayed up. This is the first year I’ve been able to grow peppers with any success. The other times they were eaten by bugs. This year I have… Read more

July 16, 2020

I have a message from The Friendship Room: they need our help, and they need it right away. Since the COVID pandemic hit Ohio, the Friendship Room has been doing their best to take it in stride. They switched from welcoming people inside for meals at the table to handing out to-go plates on the porch. They went from re-stocking their outdoor free pantry daily to re-stocking it at least four times a day and adding a fridge, to meet… Read more

July 15, 2020

  I got to go to Mass. In case you’re just joining me, I’ve been longing to get to Mass for the longest time, ever since the churches reopened in May, though the Sunday obligation is still dispensed, but nobody’s carpooling and the church schedules combined with my chronic illness makes it difficult to walk or catch the bus on the days the bus even run.  The last time I went was the second week of March, before the shutdowns…. Read more

July 13, 2020

  I wanted to be with Jesus. Since the COVID emergency began, I’ve had a crash course on accepting the Presence of Jesus in all the places He is besides liturgy– in frustration, in loneliness, in suffering, in nature, in feeling like He’s forgotten all about you,  in growing things to eat, in feeding the free pantry at the Friendship Room. That’s important. But I was lonely for His unique presence at Mass, even though going to Mass sometimes hurts. You’d… Read more

July 10, 2020

  The heat wave goes on in Steubenville. A few days ago there was a sudden cloudburst– yet another storm that struck out of nowhere, and the sky was pouring sheets and quilts and blankets of rain. I came out an hour later to find my makeshift fence sagging and every plant in the garden leaning weirdly to one side. It was mercifully cool that evening, but the next day was hotter than ever. The humidity from the storm drove… Read more

July 7, 2020

  Independence Day weekend was hot in Steubenville: breathtakingly hot. The grass was brown, it was hard to breathe, it was too hot to fill the kiddie pool for Rose,  I couldn’t get out our tiny semicircle of a charcoal grill to cook dinner until well after dark. My menacing neighbor seems to have believed my reference to a security camera. She hasn’t touched the property or let the dog out to threaten me with its chain so long that… Read more

July 6, 2020

  I thought it would make bigger news this weekend, when pro-life icon Abby Johnson said that her son isn’t Black after all. In case you just joined us: the Johnsons had an open adoption several years ago. They adopted a baby named Jude whom they’ve spoken and blogged publicly about and posted several photos online. Jude is said to be biracial, and happens to have light brown skin. Abby has several times said on social media that she has… Read more

July 6, 2020

  I woke up to find that it was the feast of Saint Maria Goretti once more. I can’t stand this feast day, for reasons I’ve been open about. I am a survivor of a rape. I have many friends who were raped. And the story of Maria Goretti has been exploited to shame us in alarming ways. In case you’ve never heard the story, Saint Marie Goretti was an eleven-year-old girl. She wasn’t a young woman or a teenager,… Read more




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