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hill house

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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
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The parents are not okay

And suddenly now it’s back to school while cases are rising, back to school while masks are a battleground, back to school while everyone under 12 is still unvaccinated. Parents are living a repeat of the worst year of their lives—except this time, no matter what, kids are

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Hill House

The practice of naming one's home isn't common in my family. (I can't remember a single instance, actually.) When my wife and I bought this house five years ago, we gave it a name. I don't remember if we did this intentionally, or if it came about because I had

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A red sun

One thing that I've missed since the beginning of the pandemic is my sense of morning routine. It's a small thing, I know; I've learned over the last 18 months just how adaptable I really am. Things I felt were essential to my happiness aren't as critical anymore. I used

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Apples for all

Every year, around this time, our house smells like apples. When we bought this place, we discovered the previous owners had planted a modest orchard just down the hill. A couple apple trees, some cherries and pears. The apple trees produce more than the others do; right now there are