Yang’s Market (Part 2)

At the very back of the grocery store was a small archway, and beyond the archway a greasy spoon restaurant that would not have been out of place in the dingiest parts of Taipei. The walls, once white, were cream colored from years of wok cooking. On those walls were...

Yang’s Market (Part 1)

The new Asian restaurant I wanted to take Manyu for her birthday was closed. A note taped to the door read “On vacation: back Saturday, June 22.” Manyu’s birthday, of course, is the 21st. Clare had come from Madison to help her mom celebrate, so now my wife, my...

Noise and Disturbances

Last week I wrote about the peace and quiet of La Crosse. This week I’ll go in the opposite direction and write about some of the noise. In all instances, the sounds were novel enough to be welcome. Noisy Event No. 1 On Thursdays and Fridays, my local nature center...

Peace and Quiet

For almost each of the twenty-plus years I worked at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Manyu and I hosted an incoming international college student. Hosting, in this case, did not mean that students lived with us, but rather that we introduced them to La Crosse...

Turtle Season

Every year at this time hundreds of painted turtles leave the Mississippi River backwaters to lay their eggs. If they all wandered no farther than the beach, there would be no problem. Many of them, however, travel a quarter mile or more and wind up in residential...

Gulls, Terns, and Pelicans

I spent the days on either side of my seventieth birthday at my mom’s house near Green Bay, Wisconsin. On one of those days, my sister, my brother, my sister-in-law, Manyu, and I took a day trip to the small city of Algoma. Once a commercial fishing village on Lake...
Steven Simpson