Newsletters

Watermelon Grudge and Loyalty during COVID

By Jean Storlie / May 20, 2020 /

My mom, Lois, was a 1950s housewife with three pre-school kids living in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Lois, a frugal shopper, spotted an ad in the local paper for 50¢ watermelons. Shazam, she was on a mission! When my dad got home for lunch, she rushed out with their only car to take advantage of this…

Read More
#sew4covid

Didn’t Think I’d Be Sewing COVID Masks

By Jean Storlie / April 7, 2020 /

Two weeks ago, my sister sent me an email urging me to apply my sewing skills to make COVID-19 masks. At that point, I’d seen reports that the homemade masks inadequately protect healthcare professionals―and give the general public a false sense of security. So, I resisted (maybe I was slightly lazy, too). She pushed back.…

Read More

Dad, How Will the Animals Read?

By Jean Storlie / March 10, 2020 /

My morning routine was interrupted when my six-year-old daughter, Eleanor, screamed, “No!” I was in the midst of getting myself ready for work and cajoling our son to do the same. Her outburst drew me to the upstairs landing, where I looked down on a conversation she was having with my husband, Jay. He was preparing…

Read More

Wrong Turn Skiing with Susan

By Jean Storlie / February 11, 2020 /

On a brilliant winter day when my youngest child was about three months old, I made plans to go cross-country skiing with my friend, Susan. After months of being tied down nursing and caring for an infant, this was a major outing and big adventure for me. Susan picked me up, and I bid goodbye…

Read More

A Basket Case for Purging

By Jean Storlie / January 9, 2020 /

Grandpa Bill used to say, “Three moves are as good as a fire.” I thought of this quip many times this summer when we downsized from a sprawling suburban two-story home to a cozy, mid-century modern house on a creek. At first, deciding what to do with every single possession we’d accumulated during 29 years…

Read More

Susan’s Horrible Shopping Trip

By Jean Storlie / December 10, 2019 /

Susan pulled her dress out of her suitcase and was horrified to discover a large stain down the front. “There’s no way I can wear this dress to my niece’s wedding. How did I miss that stain when I packed last night?” After six hours of traveling, she’d just arrived at a remote sea village…

Read More

Zipping into a New Career Lane

By Jean Storlie / November 12, 2019 /

Sewing machines buzzed around me, as I quickly loaded another zipper and started to sew. My co-worker at the next station was sewing like a whirling dervish. Her hands flew up and down, back and forth. She installed zippers on sleeping bags at a rate of 90-100/hour. The handlers, who kept supplies stocked and removed…

Read More

Holding My Breath … To Release My First Album

By Jean Storlie / October 7, 2019 /

The late-November afternoon sun cast a gloomy mood on Jackson’s day. The Sunday Scaries haunted him. His dad and he were listening to classic rock on the radio on their way to the grocery store. At 12 years old, he had been taking guitar lessons for three years. His second guitar teacher, Toby, had recently…

Read More

The (Hi)story of a House

By Jean Storlie / September 9, 2019 /

On a dreary, rainy day in May, we decided to visit an open house that had just come on the market. We were contemplating a downsizing move but had not started to search for new homes. The whole process of buying and selling seemed daunting. But the gloomy forecast gave us an incentive to check…

Read More

The Dietitian Who Sounded Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher

By Jean Storlie / August 6, 2019 /

In the middle of the night, my husband, Jay, was rushed to the ER by ambulance with a kidney stone emergency. I couldn’t go with him because at the time our kids were too young to leave them home alone. I found him the next morning in a shared room with the curtain drawn. His…

Read More