My Dillon: A Year+ Later

There’s an old story about a fellow who went to a small town in Indiana with the thought of possibly moving his family there. “What kind of people live around here?” he asked the attendant at the local filling station.             “Well,” the attendant replied as he checked the oil, “what kind of people live…

How the Work Gets Done

  It has been two years since I left Minnesota. Two very fast, fantastically disorienting years. Sometimes I wonder if I ever properly mourned what I lost when I left. At the time, there were the logistical matters of moving my physical body and possessions to Ohio. There was also the pull of what I was…

TBF and I

The Bachelor Farmer (TBF, for short) first appeared on this blog when I wrote an elegy for my grandfather in October 2012. At that point, TBF was an old love I was beginning to see again. Since that post, TBF has become a permanent fixture on this blog and, more importantly, in my life. Last September…

On Mothers

A fact about me: I have no children, no people I’m raising and caring for every day. TBF and I don’t even have a pet, unless you count Trip, the cat who wandered onto the farm a few years ago and never left. You really can’t count her because she doesn’t depend on us. Except for…

On Madness

For every post that actually appears on this blog, there are four others that don’t make it past the idea stage. Ideas are fun. They don’t demand a commitment. They’re about wondering and scribbling and messing around on the page. I get excited about ideas for this blog. I get excited and talk about them way too early. The longer…

Emerging

I’m back on the bike. My very first ride of the season was a short one, but the second was longer and glorious. West I went, into the wind, learning how to finesse those delicate gears again. I crossed the county line and made it to the far side of the landfill before I clipped out…

The Greatest Love Song of All Time

Having recently returned from my honeymoon, I might be a little shmoopier than usual, but since this is the nationally-recognized day for all shades of shmoop, I submit to you my unequivocal nomination for Greatest Pop Love Song of All Time.* You may know it as the song from National Lampoon’s Animal House or the…

Mo Whitney, Mo Travels

I am, without apology, a coffee devotee. Blame my time in the Twin Cities where there was a coffee house every few blocks. Blame my beautifully hip and ethereal auntie who gifted me a French press early in my formative coffee-drinking years. Blame the hours my writerly friends and I have spent working (and not…

Whitney Travels

Today The Bachelor Farmer (TBF) and I will embark upon our honeymoon. We got married in August but delayed our trip for a few months so 1) I could move to town and get settled into my brand new life and 2) so TBF could do as his name suggests and harvest the crops he…

Farewell, Fifty Rows

The Ice Castle  When I first started this thing, it was a sports blog. Or I wanted it to be. I hoped it would be sports with a twist. Sports on a whim. Sports through a glass, darkly. I called it “Fifty Rows Up” and made it a place where I could meditate on all…

The Daughter Of

Friends have asked me what I thought of Youngstown Boys, the ESPN 30 for 30 film that explores a few chapters in the life of Maurice Clarett, former running back for the Ohio State Buckeyes, and his relationship with my father, a former coach of the same team. The film gave me much to remember….

Sports/Stories Contest: WINNER

Back in April, I posted the first-ever Fifty Rows Up Sports/Stories Contest. Writers in grades 7–12 submitted their work by the May 31 deadline, and let me tell you—I read some really good stuff. Thank you to all you writers who took the big (and sometimes scary) step of sharing your work. Among these stories,…