([Colorado Springs Airport] by Myron Wood, August 1966. Copyright Pikes Peak Library District, courtesy of Special Collections. Image 002-2635.)

The Middle Distance 3.11.11: Postcards from the Past

She cannot remember the leaving, only the coming home.

 

For nearly a year she had prepared for this journey. She’d saved enough money [...]

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The Middle Distance 3.4.11: A Budding Morrow

Clearly it was too early to work in the garden. This is Colorado, after all, and it was only March 1. But the weather seemed to think it was mid-April, and those mid-60s temperatures called me outside, to the soil.

I watered and examined the [...]

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In this episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn worries about what she’ll pass on to her children.

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(“Cragmor Sanatorium” by Harry L. Standley, ca. 1920s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library [...]

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The Middle Distance 2.11.11: “A Heart-shaped Box”

Larry Davidson was a country boy. He wore pressed jeans and a big belt buckle, scuffed cowboy boots, and plaid flannel shirts. We were twelve and in sixth grade at a brand new school on the edge of Nashville, Tennessee, set between half-built subdivisions of [...]

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The Middle Distance 2.4.11: “Our Daily Bread”

February 4 would have been my sister Kim’s 58th birthday. She died three years ago on March 10.

She has been with me this week as I’ve been padding around the house, unpacking and arranging things, wandering from room to room trying to find a [...]

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(“View of Pikes Peak and Colorado City,” lithograph by A. E. Mathews, ca. 1860s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-5608.)

The Middle Distance, 1.28.11

This might sound strange coming from someone who is a professional writer and teacher of writing: Out here in the middle distance, [...]

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(“Keeth Residence,” photographer unknown, ca. 1930. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-5640.)

The Middle Distance 1.21.11: Real Estate Junkie

I am on the verge of buying a house for the third time in my life, and as I move all my beloved things to yet another [...]

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The Middle Distance 1.14.11: “The Parade of Lifelong Gift Giving”

My kids and I gave each other robotic vacuum cleaners for Christmas this year, the deluxe model with extra capacity for animal hair — golden retriever sheddings in the Colorado house and cat hair in my daughter’s sixth floor walk-up in Brooklyn. [...]

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The Middle Distance 1.7.11: “Homebody”

Did you ever notice how people throw out their stuff right at the Do Not Litter sign? $500 fine, it says, and all around it, Budweiser cans and a busted McDonald’s bag. I saw this yesterday when I was walking the dog on the east end of [...]

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(“Colorado-Remarkable Meterological Display Observed at Chrisman” by M. Doolittle, January 1887. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 257-6307.)

The Middle Distance 12.24.10: “Full Moon”

On Tuesday, December 21, my students came to class sleepy-eyed and dazed. Many of them had stretched out on one of the wide [...]

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(“Ponderosa; Snow” by Myron Wood, November 1972. Copyright Pikes Peak Library District Image Number: 002-1441.

The Middle Distance 12.17.10: “What Lies Beneath

This morning, following months of drought, the sky and the weather forecast threatened snow. The heavy gray sky bulged downward; the mountains obscured by white clouds. Inside my classroom [...]

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The Middle Distance 12.10.10: “Decisions, decisions…”

The first decision I remember ever making was to sit in the front row desk, closest to the teacher, in first grade. There I was in the first grade class picture — patent leather shoes and white ankle socks tucked neatly to the side; hands clasped [...]

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(“Tejon Street at Night” by James and Helen McCaffery, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 266-10084.)

The Middle Distance 12.3.10: “The Season of Contradictions”

‘Tis the season of contradiction. Bare black tree limbs, frozen earth, and neighborhood houses lighted up like Vegas. Black Friday, Cyber [...]

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The Middle Distance 11.26.10: “But who will make the broccoli-pea casserole?”

This Thanksgiving, my kids and I are spread apart across the country. This morning I woke up wondering: Who will make the broccoli-pea casserole?

It is at once a standing joke and an honored tradition in our family that at Thanksgiving, [...]

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(“Sheep, Storm. South Park, Colorado” by Myron Wood, June 1967. Copyright Pikes Peak Library District, courtesy of Special Collections. Image Number: 002-1269.)

The Middle Distance 11.19.10: “Worry Wart”

I have always considered myself among the least fretful of worriers. Morally squishy and given to unreasonable flights of optimism, I fall somewhere [...]

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The Middle Distance 11.12.10: “Safe”

Be safe. Be smart and safe, I told my kids when they were teenagers, headed out for a night roaming the town in another teenage driver’s car. Be safe, when they were going camping with friends, or touring the country with a band. I still tell them now, [...]

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The Middle Distance, 11.5.10: “Eternal Yes”

My sister Kim always said yes.

Yes to a ride down the island to look at birds. Yes to a walk on the beach. Yes to a game of Uno. Yes to whatever was prepared for dinner. Yes to a movie. Yes to the dreaded question: [...]

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(“Observing National Book Week” by Sleet Brown, ca. 1948. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 001-5199.)

The Middle Distance, 10.27.10: “Storytelling”

In her masterpiece, The God of Small Things, Indian novelist Arundhati Roy says this about stories: “The secret of the Great Stories is that they have [...]

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In this week’s episode of The Middle Distance, Kathryn Eastburn visits New York City and ponders the bubble New Yorkers create around themselves for privacy.

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The Middle Distance 10.15.10: “All Things Must Pass”

Last weekend I spent two days in a hotel ballroom learning to transcend my story and access the infinite energy field surrounding me. With some 150 others — mostly women of all ages, shapes, and sizes — I sat in a straight-backed chair in [...]

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The Middle Distance, 10.8.10: “A Pot of Posole”

(See below for Kathryn posole recipe)

Today I will make a pot of posole, the earthy Mexican hominy stew, and think about my mother. At 83 and having outlived eight of her nine siblings, she is trying to figure out what to do about [...]

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The Middle Distance 10.1.10: “The Hole That Can’t Be Filled”

Now comes reality. The grace period of shock has passed and we are mired in the deep middle distance of grief. Anxiety surrounds us like a magnetic shield. Our loved one has died of suicide and we are still here. But, on some days, [...]

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News

September 30, 2014 | NPR · The two vessels, one flagged in Germany and the other in Singapore, come together after one appears to lose rudder control.
 

September 30, 2014 | NPR · Going into Julia Pierson’s hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday, President Obama has expressed confidence in her and the agency she leads. Will that change?
 

NASA
September 30, 2014 | NPR · “For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried,” NASA says, citing satellite photos from 2000 and 2014.
 

Arts & Life

September 30, 2014 | NPR · Matt Bai says that while voters have always cared about candidates’ characters, some news used to be off limits. His new book looks at Gary Hart’s 1987 affair that destroyed his political ambitions.
 

ABC
September 30, 2014 | NPR · ABC’s new comedy Selfie doesn’t have a good pilot. It has half of a decent pilot, however, and it has intriguing signs that inside of it, trapped under the dumb parts, there might be a good show.
 

Twentieth Century Fox
September 30, 2014 | NPR · If you’ve already read Gone Girl, or if you don’t mind swimming in a sea of spoilers, we’ve got a few thoughts that require giving up some of the book’s bigger secrets.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
September 30, 2014 | WXPN · The decorated jazz veteran, now 79, sounds younger than ever on his new album, In The Mood.
 

Mountain Stage
September 30, 2014 | NPR · The band’s latest album is based on singer Alynda Lee Segarra’s time living in New Orleans.
 

WXPN
September 30, 2014 | WXPN · The supergroup, featuring Joan Osborne and members of Black Crowes, performs songs from its album.
 

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