Commonplace

seeking the story in the ordinary

You come from the hill by the lake. It’s dotted with wooden huts that overlook the water. On long Saturdays, campers sit on towels stretched below the summer sun—barefooted, knees bent. Or toss frisbees, rest on the rise and fall of a kindred’s chest, seek shade. Come nightfall, heads tilt toward every star in a midsummer sky. …

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I’ll spend much of this summer at my alma mater overnight camp with my three sons. I’ll work in the front office while the boys enjoy programming designed for staff kids. Each day, we’ll step outside to the dewy chill of early morning air. Come nightfall, we’ll huddle under fleece blankets in a modest bunk–two rooms …

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It was a dingy corner of a gym at a local community center during a simple 6th birthday party. I was chasing down the two-year-old, an interloper on the kindergartner’s birthday circuit, amidst hardened gum stains and up and down rubber-lined steps set against linoleum flooring. The building was dated—40s? 60s?—and I drank in that …

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I’m standing on a stretch of grass outside the camp’s dining hall during the weekly Wednesday evening cookout. My watermelon-stained hands struggle to free a wipe from its package. My oldest nags at my feet for a third cookie. And dammit, where is my middle son? Just then, my stroller tips over. You help me …

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Life is but a collection of moments strung together, one right after another, to make up you… *          *          * Early morning, I throw on a hoodie and slip out in the first light to send a quick e-mail. The crisp air hits my cheeks; my feet flatten the dew-soaked ground. Distant sounds of crickets …

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