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Phones at Thanksgiving dinner? Yes, yes, yes! Here's why...

Jennifer Piper

Phones at Thanksgiving dinner? Yes, yes, yes! Here's why...
Hint: It's got nothing to do with the camera. What are you most thankful for? I'd venture a guess it's probably more of a "who" than a "what." That's what makes Thanksgiving such an appropriate time to...

Disaster! Historical Fiction Favorites

Jennifer Piper

Disaster! Historical Fiction Favorites
Reading about disasters is not everybody's cup of tea, but if you're in the mood there's nothing like some good historical fiction set in a real-life disaster.

Mt. St. Helens, Part 2: The Day After

Jennifer Piper

Mt. St. Helens, Part 2: The Day After

Part of "Ghost Forest" near edge of Mt. St. Helens blast zone. 2014. Monday, May 19, 1980 After what must have been a strange and unsettled night of sleep, my grandparents rose the day after the cataclysmic eruption to a silent, grey world they did not recognize. (To read about Jack and Maggie's experiences on the day of the eruption, see Mt. St. Helens, Part 1: Played golf, bought a toilet, and survived a volcano) Maggie appears to have written the entries today.  Maggie and Jack loved the blue jays that played around their wooded lot. They taught my sisters and me...


Mt. St. Helens, Part 1: Played golf, bought a toilet, and survived a volcano

Jennifer Piper

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Mt. St. Helens, Part 1: Played golf, bought a toilet, and survived a volcano

The guest log from my grandparents' cabin   May 18, 1980. Mt. St. Helens had been sending up ash for weeks, and scientists warned that a big blast was coming soon. Heeding the warnings, my grandparents, Jack and Maggie Crabb, were getting ready to head home from their "cabin" (really a mobile home) in Packwood, Washington, 35 miles from the volcano's summit. What happened next left my family with the most fascinating guest book log ever.  Jack continues: "It then sounded like hard rain, at first we thought maybe small hail but "Lo & Behold" it was volcano ash, very...


Put your shoes by your bed. Is it really that easy?

Put your shoes by your bed. Is it really that easy?

  In case of a night-time earthquake, fire, tornado, or a host of other disasters, it's a great idea to keep a pair of shoes by your bed. Sounds simple, no? Well, if you're like me ... no. I'm going to break this down for you, so you can get this seemingly simple task taken care of in the next few days, and not just have it rattle around in your head for months like I have. If this seems to you like I'm making something simple into something ridiculously complicated, just go and put some shoes by your bed...