four paws, one cold wet nose, and twelve years of memories …

I don’t often talk in much detail here about my real, day-to-day life.  Today, though, I wanted to introduce you to a special guy whose path intersected with mine for a little while.  

This is my fur-brother Eli — my parents’ sweet-tempered standard poodle — who crossed the rainbow bridge on Friday night:


A few weeks ago, when I visited my family in Chesapeake, I spent a little time with this furry old man.  The two of us lazed under the trees, soaking up the sun and the early-spring air.  I dug my fingers into the soft ruff of his neck, thinking about when he was just a little ball of white fluff and I was still just a girl with a bare left ring finger.  He was quicker and wilder then, and maybe I was, too.  

For a little while, we were young together.

I took a few special snaps of the two of us that day, knowing they’d most probably be the last, and tonight I’m thumbing through them slowly. Oh, friends … What a beautiful thing it is, to be loved by a dog:




It’s been my experience that canines are kinder than people — big-hearted, loyal and forgiving to a fault — and I’ve often thought if we humans could love each other that way, this world would be a better place.

Please give your four-legged buddy a smooch on the nose for me, and spend a little extra time playing or snuggling today.  The time is truly too short. ❤



House & Home

the place I come from… 

“I think what you notice most when you haven’t been home in a while is how much the trees have grown around your memories.” — Mitch Albom

It’s been quiet here at alpha // whiskey // foxtrot for the last few days, and that’s because I’ve spent those days in the company of my people, in the place I call home.

I’ve been thinking and dreaming, scuffing around the lawn with my camera, staring up at the trees. I met my new nephew for the very first time, and watched my sweet niece tear around under the canopy, screeching and laughing the way happy children do. I walked out in the dark to the deafening chorus of the peeper-frogs in the swamp — astounded, as always, at the noisy, unashamed way they sing themselves into Spring.

And meanwhile, I’ve been thinking about what’s Next — because Home is good for that. 

I’ll write more on that subject later, but for now, I thought I’d share a few brief snaps from my time here…

Take a breath this Monday morning, and enjoy:


The Body Electric

The Body Electric: Day Twenty-Seven



I’m home — safe and warm, after all my travels.  Rain patters softly on the roof.

I think back to the time I spent with family over the past few days, and to the way I gave my body permission to enjoy this holiday fully and completely:

I stood over a wide Wolf range, stirring and breathing in steam.

I sat at a long polished table with eight of my little tribe, and I ate.

I walked down from the house to the river.  Ambled along the water’s edge on Christmas morning, when a fog lay over the world like a white blanket –the opposite shore swallowed completely by cloud.

I curled up on the sofa with my three-year-old nephew, J.  Let him tuck his head under my chin.

I held my newest nephew, N, for the very first time.  Felt him go heavy and slack in my arms, his head lolling back to my shoulder in sleep.

And at church, on Christmas Eve, I stood in the crowd and sang Silent Night with one hand cupped around the golden glow of a little candle.  I took in the scatter of light across stained glass — the thousand voices melding — for the briefest moment — into one…

And I was grateful.

Not just for my spirit — the part of me for which the holiday was made — but for my body, which gives me a dozen other ways to experience the magic of it:  

In flesh and in bone.  

In star-dazzled eyes.  

Ears open to song.  

Lungs breathing in the scent of winter greenery.  

Hands laced into other hands.

Warmth on my skin, and in my heart.


And this — all of this — is good. ❤