March 17, 2013

Wisteria. Fragrant, lovely, and a source of shade. Fond of all those qualities and seduced by a cool arbor at the nursery one sweltering day, we planted a wisteria in 2006. Over the next few years, it grew bigger and taller and sprawly, but never bloomed.

Finally doin...

April 22, 2012

I took Alice, my visiting mother-in-law, for a ride in the Avenues one day, heading to Hatch’s for a chocolate fix, when we stumbled upon a bicycle rack covered with knitting. The knitting encased the entire structure, kind of like a cocoon, in different-colored stripe...

January 15, 2012

To the unparented son:

I am so sorry your mother failed you.  I’m sorry she had you so young, that she didn't go to school past sixth grade, that illiterate people raised her.

I'm sorry your best parent is the stepfather who kicked you with steel-toe boots until you...

November 27, 2011

Traveling to Nepal has been a joy.  Meeting our friend Chet’s wonderful family — and living with them like part of the family (although we are never allowed to lift a finger!) — has been an extraordinarily happy adventure.

Chet’s brother Shree has taken us to some of...

November 13, 2011

Sumitra is tall and model-thin with waist-length black hair and large, almond eyes.  She’s 16, a beautiful, studious girl who speaks Nepali and English fluently.  She loves biology and discusses it at length with Chris, bringing schoolbooks to him on the family’s balco...

November 6, 2011

We are in Bhaktapur, Nepal, an ancient town near Kathmandu, with our friends Chet and Annie.  Chet is from Nepal and we’re staying with his family.  Thirteen people, spanning three generations, live in the house, and now they are hosting five of us, including Annie’s m...

October 30, 2011

I shouldn’t tempt fate by saying this, but 2011 has been the worst year Chris and I have faced in our 25 years together.  I would even go so far as to say no other year comes close, not even the year my mom died, or my cancer year.

This year has been full of a series...

August 14, 2011

Grasping a morphine pump in my hand, child of the 60s that I am, I imagine recreational drug use might get my mind off the fact that a man has just sawn the ends off of the bones in my leg.  Sure, he is a doctor, with tons of cred from the Mayo Clinic even, but still:...

June 26, 2011

Ever accident prone, Chris and I have accidentally adopted a puppy.  This began as the idea of one of the teenagers we accidentally acquired sometime back.

“Let’s get a puppy!” she suggested.

“No and bleepity-bleep no!’’ we replied.

Still, the unwelcome idea, once s...

May 15, 2011

Chris and I placed our world on temporary hold to visit his parents, ages 91 and 87.  Chris’s folks are amazing people.  But back there, things move slowly.  Back there, dinner comes with ear-splittingly loud TV, but that’s the only electronic disturbance.

T...

March 20, 2011

As a global-scale tragedy plays out on the world’s stage, I am aware of the colossal loss, but only barely.  This is the kind of thing that would ordinarily render me nearly helpless with empathy.

Last year, as Haiti’s tragedy unfolded, I could hardly function. I was...

January 16, 2011

Over the holidays Chris and I accidentally adopted teenagers.  This is not another column about stray kittens under the porch; I’m talking teenage humans.  Two of them.

The kids and their younger brother have long been fixtures around our place and we love them l...

May 30, 2010


I met a sweet little baby named Barbara the other day.  Just kidding.  There are no babies named Barbara.  Name fashion has moved on.  So where are the Barbaras, the Brendas, the Donnas, the Connies; where are the Pattys, Peggys, Kathys and Susans?  I can speak for on...

March 21, 2010


Right up front, I’ll confess that I’ve used the “r” word and even that it probably wasn’t as long ago as I’d like.  While I work hard to stay away from other kinds of slurs, I’ve definitely used the word retarded as an insult.  Most likely I used it to describe myself...

February 21, 2010


I came home one day last October to find Chris in the front yard, leaning on our rake, hunched down and looking through the window of a car, talking with two ladies inside.  The driver, Colleen, was the daughter-in-law of her 90-something passenger, Phyllis Doxey McAf...

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All of Barb Guy's columns appear here. There are 159 of them, beginning in 2003 and ending in 2013. The newest one is on top and you can work your way backwards if you like.

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