She is quickly scribbling numbers on a pad of paper, eyes darting from train car to train car in search of the diamond shaped metal plate with the Materials Identification Code. Because what my eight year old understands is that, more than the danger in the air from the combustion of diesel, what rumbles continuously past our house inside of tanker cars are large quantities of toxic materials. And she wants to know what they are. Continue reading


Vignettes from the Outpost of Trust

David doesn’t need gifts. He’s right that many arrive and he rarely misses their opportunities. He celebrates the surprise of winter’s first snowflakes, he is curious enough to dissect forest poop to identify its owner, and without exception, he laughs when things are funny.

The year he turned forty, he asked for a gift. With the earnest optimism that is his trademark, he mused, “let’s organize a community-build of a straw bale house.” I snorted, but I knew in my heart that it would happen. David makes gifts happen. Continue reading