• One Minnesota Writer

There isn't any one thing

Astilbe, morning light, my garden.

Perhaps it's burnout or this past week's news cycle or spending three evenings in a row helping our daughter and her husband move the last of their belongings into their new house. Maybe it's all of those things.

To what am I referring? My lack of desire to write today's post. But part of the writing life is showing up, so here I am with thoughts swirling around too-hot-too-dry weather, last week's building collapse in Florida, the recent sentencing of Derek Chauvin for killing George Floyd, the image of my daughter banging her head against the wall last night as boxes piled up in her living room while much-needed rain began to fall outside. Meanwhile, my very old dachshund is snoring on the living room rug, completely unconcerned.

Human beings often get caught up in things beyond our control, stuck in a reactionary mode that allows us to get frustrated and crabby. We neglect our own well-being in an effort to take care of everything. In some of my tossing and turning this past week, I had to remind myself to breathe deeply, focus on the rest that would restore me for another day. Events both large and small move through our lives every day and the ability to adjust is required.

What did I do to adjust? This week, I adjusted my diet and used yoga to work out the kinks. I've noticed for a long time that my body no longer tolerates stress eating (i.e., junk - especially sugary junk) or stress drinking (three glasses of wine instead of just one in an evening) like it once might have. But it does respond well to getting fresh produce and making that my go-to remedy, spending some time with my hands full of lettuce or cleaning new potatoes under running water, coating a sheet pan with olive oil, roasting those potatoes with garlic and spices. Feeding myself and whoever happens to be at home with me (well, Mick every day of course) consistently shifts my mood and gets me back to a resilient place. It gets me to consider what I can offer to others (like my daughter who is in the throes of her move) that isn't intrusive but supportive. I really notice that dietary adjustment when I practice yoga where I can feel the stiffness that shows up after eating a lot of meat or sugar. There's a very real difference.

The past year with all our pandemic anxiety cemented my own understanding that how I eat and exercise and rest is something I can't pay attention to part-time anymore. Well-being is a daily habit. And it's one that allows us to be generous to our family and friends in the throes of anything that bumps them off their path. We've all been there.


Since I'm thinking about food, I want to share my favorite grilled dish of the summer so far this year. No particular recipe, just something I do that Mick and I both like when we just want to relax with something really tasty.

Grilled Shrimp and Tomatoes

1 lb jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 pint cherry tomatoes

olive oil

a chunk of good Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper

Good crusty bread

Pre-heat the grill (I use a gas grill, so make your own adjustments if you use charcoal). Toss the shrimp and tomatoes in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread on a grill pan in one layer. Grill over medium direct heat for 3-5 minutes, turning the shrimp once or twice. Remove shrimp from grill when they're pink and curled into a C, take tomatoes off as soon as they start to split. Divide shrimp and tomatoes among two bowls, grate some Parmesan over the top, slice some bread for sopping up juices, and pour yourself a glass of nice chilled rosé to go along with the meal. Enjoy.

Here's what grilled shrimp and tomatoes looks like at our house:

Have a good July 4th weekend, everyone.

41 views5 comments

Recent Posts

See All

All Saints, All Souls, Old Dogs

I've been thinking a lot about those who have gone before us. My parents. Mick's parents. Friends. In that mood, I found myself talking...