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hill house

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The pleasure of her company

I wake Squish while it's still dark. She gets ready as the first light breaks over the horizon. By the time she's bundled up for the morning chill and ready to go, it's just light enough to see our way to the Jeep. At our usual trail, the sun's just

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A shed in which to write, and live

Late last year, my wife and I were talking about writers and their sheds. Writers have a long history of writing in sheds, or little gazebos or cabins—give them a small room and tuck it in the backyard, or in the woods, and they're usually pretty content. (Here are

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Winter at Hill House

This week, as I enjoyed a little time off, it snowed for the first time this season. The hill we live atop is steep, generally too steep when icy for even a Jeep to navigate safely, so when it snows, we stay home. (Easier this year, since "stay home" has

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Blowing up mountains

From the window I can see three mountains: Hood, Adams, St. Helens. They're all quite lovely at a distance. I don't know much about them. Mt. St. Helens, of course, erupted in 1980. I was two years old, so of course don't remember it. I relate it, though, to a

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Morning view

Up a bit early this morning. I wasn't the first one awake—Felicia's often up before me, getting a workout in—but I was the only one stirring upstairs. I went from window to window, pulling curtains and raising shades. The sun wasn't yet up, but the horizon was tinted

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Morning at Hill House

I swear, the neighbors just won't keep off our hill.

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Bumblebees

A little while ago, Felicia and Squish went plum-picking. Squish spotted several golden plums on the ground. Those that had burst open were dotted with bumblebees, pushing into the juicy middles of the fruit. "I fed some of the bees," she told me proudly. "I took a fresh plum, and

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The games we play

Now and then our family gathers around the dining table for a night of board games. There are four of us: My wife, my wife's mother, Squish, and me. We all have very different playing styles, sometimes best exemplified when we play Carcassonne, a game that's about building fortified cities

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Scott the Drummer

I didn't think much about drums until our family started attending a new church, back in the early '90s. Way off to one side of the stage was a Plexiglas cage, inside which was Scott. Scott the Drummer seemed impossibly cool. He was some indeterminate age. (In retrospect, it seems

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Artificial windows

My study is in the basement of Hill House. It's a good-sized room, with a few weaknesses. There's no ventilation in the room, for example. I compensate by leaving the door open, and running a fan sometimes. It's a nice room, with one fatal flaw: There are no windows. I

Artificial windows