Blog : Beautiful-Things

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Art Lesson

Art Lesson By Joanne Lozar Glenn   |  July 18, 2016
They saved it for Fridays. Every teacher had the same projects. Fall: iron leaves between waxed paper. Winter: chalk snow scenes on black construction paper. Spring: draw daffodils. Except for Miss Malik...

Apparent Magnitude: Negative 28, Brighter Than the Sun

Apparent Magnitude: Negative 28, Brighter Than the Sun By Tricia Theis   |  July 11, 2016
We're in church and the minister is reading a story about Maria Mitchell, America's first female astronomer, when my son whispers, "When I grow up, if there's a planet left that nobody has been to, I'm going to be the first person to step on it."

Galaxies

Galaxies By Laura Haugen   |  July 4, 2016
Say that this space on her forehead where you smooth tangled tresses to plant a kiss once, perhaps twice for good measure, smells like daisies, grassy and warm...

Tornado

Tornado By Sheila Squillante   |  June 27, 2016
When I was a little girl, younger than you are now, I shared a bedroom with Aunt Catherine, who was still a baby. Grandpa was gone on business ...

All Our Travels

All Our Travels By Paul Crenshaw   |  June 20, 2016
Once we're in the air Dale tells me he is retired military--he graduated high school the same year I did. Beside him Beth is from Boise--she once broke down near Bentonville, where my best friend now lives. Small world, we say, when we uncover these coincidences, but what we really mean is that we feel small in it...

On the Last Day of Our Friendship

On the Last Day of Our Friendship By Megan Renart   |  June 13, 2016
We take shifts now. I arrive just as your mom is leaving. I want to hug you but you are bird bones, and I am a dinosaur, big and clumsy, breathing all over everything, and loudly healthy.

Hubby

Hubby By Matthew Vollmer   |  June 6, 2016
It wasn't a nickname. It was her real, actual name. She'd been Hubby for eighty-three years...
Keywords: beautiful things, hubby  |   4 comments

Graffiti the Walls

Graffiti the Walls By Matthew Barrett   |  May 30, 2016
I want to graffiti the walls where my grandmother lives, white and sterile walls (egg-shell colored walls, as the nurses say), replace her sanitation lists with photographs, magazine spreads and paper clippings...

T-Shirts

T-Shirts By Wayne Scott   |  May 23, 2016
A stack of t-shirts sits on my bureau: white, pale blue, yellow. The soft, bright colors of summer.

All the Tits in the World

All the Tits in the World By Terrance Manning, Jr.   |  May 16, 2016
I once called myself a welder...
Keywords: work  |   8 comments

Ascension Garden

Ascension Garden By Stacy Murison   |  May 9, 2016
The first time, you drive by yourself. You have some idea you are going there, but are still surprised that you know the way, without her, through the turning and turning driveways...

Merriment

Merriment By Chansi Long   |  May 2, 2016
I was walking to the store with my brother when we stumbled upon a father teaching his daughter to ride a bike. He was in his early thirties, the age my father must have been when he left us...

The Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships By Jonathan Starke   |  April 25, 2016
There's this letter on the wall in there that a young boy writes to a young girl during the Bosnian War. They meet at gunpoint, marching toward a van that will drive them to...

Dandelion

Dandelion By Michelle Webster-Hein   |  April 18, 2016
A short and seasonal classic from the original 28 days of Beautiful Things, originally posted on February 21, 2014.

Concrete Hands

Concrete Hands By Sara Ackerman   |  April 11, 2016
The day the crumbling front steps of our house on 2 Baldwin Road were to be torn down and replaced, my mother gave me what seemed like the most incredible and unearned gift.

Brothers

Brothers By Rebecca Swanson   |  April 4, 2016
They hold hands when watching something new or big or frightening: waves rolling across the beach, fireworks, the part of the movie where Piglet can't find his friends.

Somniloquy

Somniloquy By Michael Levan   |  March 28, 2016
Trained by his body to wake now every two hours, he doesn't much need her voice to tell him it's time for more meds. So at first, when he stirs from his makeshift bed on their floor, he thinks she's talking to him.

Mountains

Mountains By Erin Slaughter   |  March 21, 2016
It is always almost raining. That's something they never tell you about Seattle; they talk about the rain, but not the days the air holds its breath.

Safety Popcorn

Safety Popcorn By Sarah Thieman   |  March 14, 2016
When I was a young child, once a week and sometimes more, my father cooked homemade popcorn in the WhirleyPop then seasoned it with garlic powder, Parmesan cheese, and sea salt. He divided it into two separate bowls -- one big blue bowl and another white square bowl with red stripes, a gift from his mother.
Keywords: family  |   7 comments

Growing Season

Growing Season By Verna Kale   |  March 7, 2016
"Do you remember anything from before you were born?" I ask.

Sneakers in Sand

Sneakers in Sand By Dina Relles   |  February 29, 2016
The baby's shoes were nowhere. That morning was spent in the chaotic swirl of cleaning and packing the vacation house. Countertops lined with coffee cups, milky-bottomed cereal bowls, last laundry loads, shouts up the staircase, don’t forget the shampoo in the shower! It was New Year’s Eve. We had a flight to catch.

My Father's Only Recipe

My Father's Only Recipe By Kim Liao   |  February 22, 2016
First, take pork spare ribs. Hack them up with an impossibly large cleaver into bite-sized pieces. Rub them with a proprietary mix of star anise, black beans, garlic, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, ginger, and secrets. Never ask him what happened in Taiwan, or why his mother never spoke the name of her former husband again.
Keywords: beautiful things  |   11 comments

Stay With Me Awhile (repeat)

Stay With Me Awhile (repeat) By Gina Williams   |  February 15, 2016
In honor of Valentine's Day, please enjoy this selection from the Beautiful Things archives....
Keywords: beautiful things

Waiting for Owls

Waiting for Owls By Mark Liebenow   |  February 8, 2016
Evening returns to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the land cools. Day follows the sun across the valley floor and up into the mountains in the west. Birds settle down for the night.
Keywords: nature  |   6 comments

Back Aisles

Back Aisles By Ashley Hutson   |  February 1, 2016
The library building was my body like your children are your body, like your spouse is your body. Its wood and glass grew out of my chest. It came with a key and code.
Keywords: library  |   4 comments

The Art of the Drought

The Art of the Drought By Catherine Rankovic   |  January 25, 2016
The art of the drought is to reduce all things to their outlines. Leaves fall. Plants skeletonize. Dry outlines of worms and lizards, victims of the heat, are marked on the asphalt.

The Begonia is Blooming

The Begonia is Blooming By Danielle Harms   |  January 18, 2016
You leave home. You move in and out of apartments in faraway places. None have a yard, and you dream about the green spaces of your childhood, where cottonwood floated between trees and covered the screen porch like a fleece. Then you move to the English Basement with a brick patio. You fill it with potted plants. Your begonia becomes a riot of pink petals. You touch its waxy leaves. It makes you feel wild again. It makes you feel more whole.

Sewing Notions

Sewing Notions By Karen Zey   |  January 11, 2016
After the funeral, my sister spreads the contents of our mother’s wooden sewing box across the kitchen table. Mom gave up sewing as she faded in old age, but she clung to these bits and bobs. We gaze at the jumbled spools of thread, loops of white elastic and packets of seam binder in yellowed cellophane. I spot the jar of odd buttons, a nest of tiny jewels from the past.

Recovery

Recovery By Maria Jerinic   |  January 4, 2016
Construction resumes in my Las Vegas neighborhood. The trauma of recession recedes. Now pick-up trucks, cranes and other wheeled monstrosities I cannot name block the streets as custom homes begin to take shape. "That's great" people say. "Just think of your property values." "No more of those ugly empty lots." Except that I love those lots...

Visitation

Visitation By Kelsey E. Moore   |  December 28, 2015
On the porch, under a Blood Moon, our fire is dying down, so we wear wool blankets over our shoulders. We’re drinking cider warmed in a pan on the stove, splashed into mugs with whiskey. This cold is still new, still exhilarating; the season is shifting, like the roll of a wave against your body. Out across the salt marsh, somewhere deep in the pines, the coyotes begin to howl. It is a sound that is hard not to love, even as it ripples through you, awakening a fear that sleeps at the base of your spine.

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