Lauren Keene

Does an old diary always contain hidden treasure?

* Editor’s note: Marion is on vacation. This column first ran in September 2006. I’m a rarity, a writer who doesn’t keep a journal. I try not to look at this as a mortifying character flaw, but when you’re a writer, especially one who writes about personal stuff, everyone assumes that “journaling” is essential to […]

July 19, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

I learn about myself from how I treat my guest

* Editor’s note: Marion is on summer break. This column first ran in May 2008. I studied my daughter’s list of suggestions, which ended with, “You shouldn’t be worried if he throws up. This usually happens in the middle of the night.” Nighttime makes it better? She added, “We’re giving you some carpet cleaner just in […]

July 05, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

How hard can it be to go on a great walk alone?

* Editor’s note: Marion is on summer break. This column first ran in April 2008. I know people who never want to be alone. I know people who are happy alone in their homes but don’t want to go out by themselves. I know people who are happy alone in their homes and happy to […]

June 21, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Because it’s fun to write about romance

Today I tell three generations of love stories from a family whose romances span the globe. I would love to have any of these stories in my family, let alone three. The person who started the tale for me is a young man named Nassar whom I met at a Chinese New Year event. Despite […]

June 07, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

And now, for some answers

My last column ended with a conversation I had with an elderly teacher and my puzzlement about what she said. This drew responses from readers that I want to pass on. My topic was jobs I’d never want, like ice cream truck driver and toll collector. I ended with an example that embarrasses me because […]

May 24, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Don’t put me in charge of ice cream, tolls or toddlers

A doggedly cheerful sound of summer made me start thinking about jobs I’d never want. I was standing on a street in South Davis when a white ice cream truck approached playing the same tune it played last summer, and many summers before that, a tune that was only fun at first. The loud, tinny […]

May 10, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

New ways of giving locally and beyond

This time last year an envelope arrived from Yolo Hospice. “Probably some kind of announcement,” I thought, but I was wrong. It was a greeting card with these words on front: “We believe in the power of love and goodness.” Inside, it stated that a donation had been made in honor of my birthday. The […]

April 26, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

On safari to Santa Rosa, what should you expect?

It was always in question whether my husband would like his birthday gift. I’d gone big and reserved a pricey overnight on June 12 in a location neither one of us had ever visited. Then he went big, with a health incident that landed him in the hospital just before our trip. We postponed the […]

April 12, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Which experiences count as ‘once in a lifetime’?

I’m in the kitchen of our cabin by the river in Lotus, when my friend, who is getting something from her car, knocks loudly on my window and waves at me. “Come out, come out,” she cries. I drop what I’m doing and run outside. Terry is pointing to one of the flat granite steps […]

March 29, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

My acting career begins and ends on the rocks

I was standing on an outcropping of rock above pounding Troublemaker Rapid on the South Fork of the American River, watching for my friends to paddle through, when a stranger walked up to me. “My name is Chris,” he said, reaching out to shake my hand. “We’ve run into a bit of a problem with […]

March 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

“You’ve come in the wrong door,” were the first words I heard when I gently turned a knob and poked my head into a meeting. “This is the legislators’ entrance, but OK, come on in.” The meeting I joined late was a hearing of the State Assembly Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials. It […]

March 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Returning to a place from long ago

My daughter and her family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, several months ago for work. At that time, friends asked me if I’d ever been to Princeton myself. “Yes,” I said. “Once. On a blind date.” In 1966, when I was a sophomore at Brown University and computer data was still entered using punch cards, […]

February 15, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Three old ideas going, going, gone

Times are changing, mostly thanks to technology, and some things are aging out of our culture. If they remain, they’ve lost their meaning or their power. One robust information source, for example, used to be the telephone area code. The numbers were carefully planned. When area codes were first implemented in the 1950s and 60s, […]

February 01, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Birders of a feather flock to Davis sighting

Rarely have I heard a photo dismissed so quickly. “No, that’s not it. Nope. Not that one.” The speaker was a man in a green Prius with a license plate holder that suggested he was from out-of-town. He had stopped in the middle of a quiet block in north Davis and leaned out of his […]

January 18, 2015 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

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