Something deep in her, a familiar voice she had trusted many times before had said, you take a step, I’ll be there to meet you. It felt as though by putting herself physically in motion, she was saying “yes,” to that voice, thereby mobilizing her destiny in the process. (Read the rest of the chapter at HanaHawley.Com)


Photo by Tom Parkes 


joseph-albanese-102983 (1)

Photo by Joseph Albanese

He feels like a sardine in a tin. A gorilla in a too-tight suit. Gulliver living among the Lilliputians. Okay. So that last bit was a small exaggeration, but every time he bumped his head on a doorframe at the Airbnb he and Hanako had leased, or ran his shoulders into something because the space was too tight for his six-foot-one frame, or he had to sit on the toilet and his knees jammed up against the closed door (was that TMI?): He felt like Gulliver. He felt, cramped. READ MORE



photo by Jason Ortego

Without him, she would probably become a recluse; wear afghans around the house, order everything she needed online, live her life through social media, raise three dogs she would dress-up and treat like her children–too afraid to interact with the outside world for fear of failure or rejection. (Read More at

A Girl’s Best Friend…

A Girl's Best Friend...

I can still feel the soft, feathery tickle of her ears against my face and the way her little paws felt dwarfed by my suddenly over-sized hand.

Jane was hit by a car almost two years ago which means she’s been dead, longer than she’s been alive and I’ve lived without her more years than I’ve actually had her in my life.

But that doesn’t change things.

Until Jane bounded into my life I silently snickered at people who considered their pets a “part of the family.” Sure they were cute, but “family”? These people most certainly lacked significant relationships with others.

And then Jane needed a home.

I fed her salmon from a can to reduce her allergies, invented toys to keep her occupied and got immeasurable pleasure from knowing she loved digging up sand on the beach.

She taught me to say “hello” to neighbors as we passed each other on the sidewalk. She urged me to live my life at home, even though my husband was living halfway around the world without me.

I became one of those people who read Cesar Millan and when Jane died, someone who knew without a doubt that all dogs go to heaven.

I’ll never forget the way she lay lifeless on the grass beside the road or the look of the brake-lights that didn’t flash red, even for a moment.

But I’ll also never forget the shape of the car that did stop and the neighbors who came running to offer their aid and their dismay.

Show me someone who truly loves their dog and I’ll introduce you to someone who knows what it means to be a good friend, spouse and adventurer through life.

Make-up with Mom

Make-up with Mom

My parents are visiting me from Minnesota this week! I don’t think I’ll ever feel too old to play dress-up with mom!

“What do you think, honey?”

The question is music to my ears.  She’s trying on the “newest” lip color from MAC.  Posh Tone promises to make her lips look expensive and pouty.  It’s a pretty color on her and I tell her she should definitely get it.  The MAC girl is fluttering protectively over mom’s face and the tittering wanes a bit as she realizes I’m not one of those girls- I don’t have to be the one making all the suggestions.

It’s fun and gratifying when mom wants my opinion or compliments.  Sure it might be on superficial things like lipstick or throw pillows but the underlying message to me, is much deeper.  I want us to connect, I want you to like what I’m doing or saying. What you think little girl, matters to me.

It feels like just yesterday that all that mattered was playing dress-up and getting her to laugh or smile in delight at something I’d said or done.  No matter how much I want my internal voices to matter more, there’s a weight to what she says that is denser than what my own instincts dictate.  That doesn’t mean I always agree or that my voices lay immovable beneath hers but it doesn’t stop me from wishing unreasonably that our thought processes could work togehter like synchronized swimmers in the Olympics