1. The Camp Letters: 3

    Here we go…

    Dear Mom and Dad, 

    Please let me come home! I don’t like it here. The horses are yucky and anyway riding makes me homesick. I want to come home!! Just let me come home. I don’t care about all the stuff you told me. I am crying right now ‘cause you won’t let me come home. You just don’t understand how I feel. Please! I mis Montpelier. (E. Montpelier)* I miss home. I promise I won’t be guilty when I come home early. Don’t you want me to be happy? If you do just pick me up and hug me and kiss me and say you love me. Then take me home to a comfortable bed. Please?!!!!

    Love 

    Jess

    Who cares what my friends think?

    p.s I WOKE UP THIS MORNING [THINKING] I WAS HOME!!!!!

    *Just to be very clear.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________

    TO: PARENTS:

    You Better call and ask to talk to me. And then agree to take me home. OR ELSE I WILL HATE YOU FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE

    JESSIE*

    *I spelled my name with an ‘i’ for a few years to match my friend Carrie.

     
  2. Comments
  3. The Camp Letters: 2

    It’s early on in the first week at Camp Betsy Cox and I’m still doing fine.

    Saturday

    Dear Mom,

    You’re right! Camp is cozy and friendly. So far I a haveing a very wonderful time. I did get homesick but I am alright now. 

    In riding I had to ride the trouble pony because he was being bad. He started bucking but I swear I wasn’t that scared!

    Today is Space Day. To save me from a tired, sore hand ask Dad about it.

    Did you have a nice time at your birthday dinner? I hope you did. 

    I can’t wait to see the house! Tell Timmy that was a beutiful picture.

    Don’t worry, Mom. After about five years with your handwriting I am used to it. And I will definitly write a lot. 

    Love and kisses from the walking Bug Bite!

    Jess

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY

    p.s. Don’t worry about the costume, I don’t need it.

    p.s.s I might need more stamps.

     
  4. Comments
  5. The Camp Letters

    We thought these were lost. A bundle of letters I wrote to my parents from Camp Betsy Cox in 1987 when I was 11. But they’ve been found. 

    In reading them, I was taken aback by the voice and self reflection of this little girl. 

    This is the first letter. I’ve settled into my cabin, Horrid Hamlet, I’m looking for friends, and searching for my place. 

    Friday

    Dear Mom, Dad, and Timmy,

    So far camp is really great. I don’t really have a true posotive friend yet but everyone really likes me. I have my I eye on someone but we are both kind of shy. Her name is Bonnie. She lives in Manhatten. One camper in our bunk still hasn’t arrived. Her name is Amelia*. In swimming lessons I am in Swimmers! And I am an advanced rider. Every Wednesday there is a trail ride. Bonnie loves riding too. Gotta go!

    Love,

    Jess

    p.s. I love you! Remember to write back

    *I had high hopes for this Amelia

     
  6. Comments
  7. A Day of Travel and a Day of Thanks

    Thank you parents (who are amazing grandparents), thank you JetBlue for the good seats, thank you patrons of JFK’s restroom at Gate 20 for only offering me encouragement as my son had a tantrum on the floor, and then fell asleep there, thank you row mates for being so AMAZING and for sticking up for me when my son woke up abruptly during take off and had (yet another) 45 minute meltdown, NO THANKS to the grumpy lady in the row behind us wondering why I couldn’t “get him under control.” Thank you to the lady sitting in front of me for patting my arm when I started to cry. Thank you impermanence. Thank you organic, low sugar lollypops, thank you toddler headphones, thank you Sesame Street (and Feist, Adam Sandler, Amy Adams, Jack Black, India Arie, John Krasinsky, Emma Stone, and Bruno Mars).  Thanks to everyone who told me to wrap up little gifts to be opened at various points throughout the flight. Thank you Play-doh. Thank you stickers. Thank you finger skateboard, thank you Elmo “cell phone”. Thank you lady across the row for telling me I am an amazing mother. Thank you Asa for being such a trooper. Thank you Lynn for picking us up and not batting a lash at the final meltdown of the day. Thank you AAA for coming so promptly to jump start my dead Prius and put air in Isaiah’s flat Golf tire. Thank you Sarah for bringing us dinner last night and ensuring me I was only having a panic attack, and not coming down with a dreaded flu. Thank you Asa for sleeping 11 straight hours last night. Thank you Gloria for the loving daycare. Thank you Los Angeles for this golden, soothing day.

     
  8. Comments
  9. Winter Walk

    I’m in Vermont.

     
  10. Comments
  11. Horse Cool

    As I waited for the guy to haul my two bales of alfalfa to the car, I stood in the shade by the paddock, giddy that places like these exist in Burbank. The smell of hay and manure, the way I imagined it would feel to trudge through it, right then, in mucking boots. Grain buckets, lead lines, tack shop leather. The horses themselves, perfectly beautiful beasts, the way their forelocks feather down through their ears, so cool. Their grace and power, to swish a fly, to fly themselves, around the ring, over jumps, through fields. It didn’t matter that I was probably the 11th person that day to stand there and flirt with the horses. I didn’t care whether the blacksmith was showing off, or shrugging off, I knew what he was doing and I was going to watch. And even when those two bare headed ladies swaggered up on their steed, my heart didn’t drop in envy (in fact my nose rose, what an inferior form, the western saddle). For I, am a horse person. Get me in a pair of jodhpurs. Strap on a velvety English riding helmet. I’m ready to canter.

     
  12. Comments
  13. Sometimes I Yell

    Today on my way home I stopped off in the village of Echo Park for some fresh eggs from Cookbook (the loveliest little grocery store around). I parked in front of a small low-income housing settlement and as I emerged from my car, I heard the notorious yell of a mother. She yelled, “NO, you CAN’T have that!!” And her yell roared down the sidewalk, to me, and I cringed. Because, I yell sometimes too.

     
  14. Comments
  15. True Home

    O Vermont how I love you. Your roads lined with wild flower bouquets, your woodsy smell, your green, quiet, gentle sun, gentle rain. How everything one needs is less than 7 minutes away. How everyone waves. How will I leave…

     
  16. Comments
  17. Home, Now

    This morning I woke up in our house to singing birds and a cool breeze. I had a coffee from FIX, and fresh farm eggs from Cookbook, fetched and fried by Isaiah. I drank fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, from our tree. I sat at the top of our little hill and talked to both my parents while Asa climbed around like a goat. I contemplated bougainvillea. I bought a lemonade from a little girl’s stand on Echo Park Ave. I washed my feet off in the tub, several times. I washed Asa off in the tub, several times. We all laid out on cool white sheets, delighting in the glow of our bright white walls. This is how to live in Los Angeles. It’s a hot night, but we are home.

     
  18. Comments
  19. The Project: October, November and December 1997

    I easily settled into a routine at school. I played my last season of field hockey. I wasn’t a captain, but I did win an achievement award and my name is etched onto a plaque somewhere. All of my classes were directly related to my art major so my days of camping out in the library were thankfully over. We took study breaks at the Goose, the adored hole in the wall bar close to campus. We had dinner parties, keg parties, “tiki” parties (centered around a fruity cocktail concoction, wooden set of polynesian drink ware, rounds of toasting, and chanting “don’t eat the fruit, don’t eat the fruit”). We played cribbage and listened to John Coltrane. We took trips to Freeport (LL Bean) and ate lazy Sunday breakfasts at our favorite greasy spoon dive. Or when the snow was good we skied Sunday River and stopped for the most amazing mac n’ cheese you’ve ever tasted on the way back home. 

    Read More

     
  20. Comments