Upon unloading our gear at the Coon Fork County Park campsite, my wife Meredith is reminded that I am still not the seasoned camper I pretend to be.

Controversy surrounding a recently proposed housing development on Lake Hallie prompted me to dig back into a time before there were any homes here.

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It is well after midnight and I’m standing in the dewy grass of our backyard. A puppy has been leading me by a blue leash in erratic circles f…

A vegetarian walks into a bar for the meat raffle and air conditioning. I know it sounds like the start of bad joke, but I recently visited He…

Of all the phrases in the English language, none are more beautiful than “summer camp.”

It had been 20 years since I had backpacked like this. Not a daypack filled with some granola bars, bottled water, a camera and a rain jacket.…

Here on Lake Hallie we have homemade docks held up by barrels or docks wheeled into the water each May and wheeled out in November. We’ve got …

We watched the Doppler radar all Sunday morning and early into the afternoon. No rain had fallen, and yet we remained cooped up. Finally, a de…

Since 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated as a national holiday on the last Monday in May. This long weekend also marks the beginning of su…

Were it not for Bob Dylan, Xin Obaid of Wuhan, China, might never have come to America. As a young woman, Dylan’s music moved her deeply — one…

The turkey call is a handsome object. A circular chip of Pennsylvania slate framed in a stained black walnut “pot.” A hunter holds the call in…

I learned Woody Guthrie’s classic, “This Land is Your Land,” in second grade to perform with other Chippewa Falls children at a bicentennial c…

On March 26, 2021, the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram published an obituary for a man named Douglas Smith. The obituary wasn’t especially long and…

Shortly before dawn, the Easter Bunny is roused to work by the buzz of his alarm. He groans, searching for a snooze button.

The morning was unseasonably mild, and the parking lot of the church was packed.

One year ago I began a journal to record my daily life throughout this worldwide pandemic. Someday, I reasoned, I might want to read about wha…

One snowy afternoon in the winter of 1960, a train en route from Milwaukee to Eau Claire screeched to a halt five miles east of our city. Over…

My son wanted to sell his Xbox, so I put the machine up for sale on an online marketplace. Took pictures, wrote a tidy, enticing description, …

One March morning years ago, I was scolding my husband for some small thing he did or did not do. I grabbed my car keys for a dramatic exit an…

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When the first-grade teacher encouraged us to help our daughter find a “consistent workspace conducive to virtual learning,” I’m pretty sure s…

Since this pandemic began there has been no shortage of people to feel sympathy and sorrow towards. The deceased, their families, caregivers, …

This Valentine’s Day weekend, I remembered all the handy men I’ve loved: those who fixed that squeak and settled that threshold and rewired th…

I thought that today, Jan. 24, 2021, I might be writing about what it means to be a Green Bay Packers fan on the cusp of another Super Bowl wi…