Wading into personal archives

Wading into personal archives

My mother Gloria, 35-ish years ago, at around the time I sent the four-page typed letter. A few weeks ago my three brothers, sister, and I needed to pack up some objects and papers from our past. We didn’t have much time, so our minds jolted into hyper-focus....
Wilderness writing

Wilderness writing

On Saturday I gathered around writer Laura Waterman’s log-house table in Vermont with the good people of the Waterman Fund Essay Contest Committee. We reviewed a few dozen narrative pieces by new writers about wild places and their importance. We have a winner,...
Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Mountain safety stories, two talks this summer

Ellen Finnie, left, and Chris on the summit of Mount Washington. I will give my popular talk, “How Not to End Up in the Accidents report of Appalachia Journal” twice this summer. Join me for these free presentations! I always give out a few extra issues of...
Possum, passim

Possum, passim

Opossum drawing by Gustav Mutzel (1839-1893). Behind our house a small ledgey hill adjoins a mysterious woods between my street’s backyards and the main street of my town. One winter night I returned late from working and sat down with my snack by the back...
A quick lesson from a musk ox

A quick lesson from a musk ox

At times like this, I silently thank the taxidermists. This is a life-size diorama of musk oxen at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The musk ox embodies certain truths about the life of a writer. A musk ox lives in a harsh environment and survives with a...
Searching for a Lyme disease test

Searching for a Lyme disease test

The aggressive Lyme spirochete, which can turn itself into a blob and hide in tissues. Shown here magnified on a computer screen at the Western Connecticut Health Network Research Center. The Connecticut Health Investigative Team has released my story on the search...