Why Is That?How Do Frozen Frogs Survive the Winter?

Imagine you’re a frog. Because you’re cold-blooded, your body is the same temperature as your surroundings. So as the temperature around you drops, your body also gets colder and colder, and you move slower and slower. You don’t have clothes or a furnace to keep you warm. You don’t even have fur! So what do... Continue Reading →

Why Is That? Why are there huge, ornate houses downtown?

Lumber companies set their eyes on the Chippewa Valley in the 1850s as a prime spot for business, with impressive riverways and ample pine in the northwoods. Soon, workers from all over the country and the world immigrated here, often as lumberjacks or farmers. At first, everyone lived simply. They built log cabins and then... Continue Reading →

Love The Beach You’re With

Marylanders go to the beach the way you go Up North. You have your family cabin in the woods; my family had a townhouse on the Delaware shore, a three-hour drive away – the longest car trip imaginable. For the two decades of my childhood, going to the beach was my summer vacation, and it... Continue Reading →

Winter Layers

In 1996, I was 16 and living in Bethesda, Maryland (January mean temperature: 37 degrees). One ordinary brown January afternoon, my siblings and I went to see 12 Monkeys. While we sat in the dark theater, a surprise Nor’easter snuck over the East Coast. A couple of hours later we emerged and stared at the swirling... Continue Reading →


Mama feels hot! Your baby girl calls her brother to the couch where you lie, volcanic in loose clothes. They flutter their cool hands over your skin as you exhale flames. Turn your head so as not to scorch them. Soon your husband will return. Soon, when he opens the door, the breeze will stir the... Continue Reading →

We Are Grasshoppers

First published in Volume One Magazine This morning, the kitchen thermostat reads 59 degrees. It’s still dark outside, so I can’t confirm the forecasted snow and wind. Either way, seems time to turn on the heat. I hold my breath as the furnace clicks then rumbles to life. It’s an old furnace. “Don’t expect it... Continue Reading →

Why Does Poison Ivy Itch?

You’re in the woods, building a fort or exploring, and having a great time. A few hours later, you get a horrible, itchy rash. Argh, poison ivy! Despite the name, poison ivy does not make poison. Instead, every part of the poison ivy plant – leaves, stem, vine, berries, roots – makes an oil called... Continue Reading →

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