Shadows and Apples

Unmooring, Realignment and Restoration: Notes From The Apartment

I am living in a third-floor walkup on the west side of Manchester. It’s small, but it’s got three bedrooms and the kids stay with me about three nights a week. The boys share one of the extra bedrooms, the girls the other, though the little one usually ends up…

A Winter Night

Once upon a time we lived in a little cottage in a small city in the far northeast and on winter nights while the fire burned, our mother read us bedtime stories and we heard the thunk-scrape of the shovel as our father built the snowbanks higher than our heads…

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Dropping the kids off at school, a bitter sweet recurring thought

There is a little moment when I drop the kids off at school each morning that simultaneously makes me smile and breaks my heart a little. The two older kids pile out of the, anxious to be gone, tolerating only the briefest goodbye peck on their foreheads, not even turning…

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When Life Is Like A Story

At bedtime ‘Bel says, smiling with dreamy content, “I have to practice saying baa. I’m a sheep in the Christmas pageant.” And I think to myself, sometimes life is just like a lovely story in which a dad is tucking the sweetest darn kid into bed.

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Isobel Shows Us All How To Handle A River Monster

All right, firstly, the kids and I like to watch River Monsters together. So kudos to Jeremy Wade for making a globe-trotting fishing show with enough storyline and drama to have broad cross-generational appeal. And for having the coolest job in the world. Now to stick it in his ribs…

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Happy Thanksgiving! Fisher Cats 5K

Happy Thanksgiving, all! Grateful for health, family and community! All of which were in evidence this morning. Kristen, David and I ran Millennium Running’s Fisher Cats Thanksgiving Day 5K starting at the Fisher Cats stadium and running down through the Millyard. It was a fast course and a perfect day to…

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David’s first XC season ends in smiles

David finished the USATF New England Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships meet at Freestyle Farm in Amherst with a better than 1 minute improvement and PB on his 3K time, and even more importantly, big smiles with his friends! While David doesn’t move on to regionals, I’m looking forward to…

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Thinking of my grandfather Ernest Phillips this Memorial Day Weekend

My mother posted this on Facebook today – a scan of a letter showing the decorations my Grandfather Ernest earned in WW2. Thinking of him this Memorial Day. Mom wrote: “Gladys Phillips, his mother and my grandmother, made these notes about medals earned by Ernest Edward Phillips in World War…

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Twin Lights Half Marathon, Spring Season Recap

Ran the Twin Lights Half Marathon on Saturday morning, and while it was hillier than I expected, and I missed my per-mile-pace goal (6:30), I was pretty happy with a 54 second PR and 7th place overall finish, 1st in division. First note? Free pictures! All the pics the race…

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On Single Malt, Time Dilation, French Poetry, Ectotherms and G.K. Chesterton: A Christmas Note for 2011

Beloved family and friends, As I sat down to begin penning this 2011 Burden Family Christmas missive, I was struck by a single, clear, profound thought: “Dear heavens, there is not enough single malt Scotch in the whole state of New Hampshire to get me through this task.” Regardless, let…