When you are young, birthdays are milestones. Becoming a toddler. Finally in school. Teenager. Sweet Sixteen. Voting age. Drinking age. Then one day you reach an age where the next major milestone is Medicare, and call me crazy but that isn’t as exciting as your first Vegas trip.

In a few days I’m turning 39. To a lot of people, this is still pretty young. To my children, it’s super old. For me, it’s the end of an exhausting decade of life. It’s also sitting at the doorstep of my forties, which will make me officially middle age. Now it’s…


It’s February, my birthday month. This will be the last year of my thirties, which somehow managed to be one of the worst and best decades of my life so far. There were certainly many good moments. Trips all over the world. The birth of two of my children. My career, move to our current home, and plenty of other accomplishments. I think I have experienced the most personal growth during this decade of life. But the dead husband and single motherhood really derailed my life plans. A global pandemic was the icing on the cake that nobody wanted.

Not…


Happy New Year, everyone!

Another year came to a close, another winter break over. The kids and I didn’t do much, except go to the tide pools three times. Let’s face it. Our options for vacation were nonexistent. New year, same shit show- at least for now. I’m feeling a little restless. Tired. Not quite bored, but not quite inspired. I guess you can say that what I am experiencing right now is feeling stuck. Stuck in the mud, with no extraction date in sight.

We were back at the tide pools on New Year’s Eve, where we hiked to…


**Do not read if you’re a fragile male who will have an uncontrollable urge to mansplain why I am wrong about my decades of experience on this subject.**

Dear Heterosexual Men,

It is baffling how many of you seem to understand nothing about women despite apparently coexisting on the same planet for decades. While it is understandable that 13-year-old-you was a bit dense about what women wanted, by 43 you certainly should have picked up on a few clues, especially after repeatedly getting dumped and divorced by females.

Just like children learn not to touch hot stoves, one should not…


The other day I was driving to pick up my curbside order of groceries and it hit me that I was doing okay being a homebody in quarantine. Our weeks are centered around this home, where we have learned the best sunny spots at random times during the day, enjoy the company of our pandemic cats, the backyard trampoline is recess for the kids, and my exotic escape is a turquoise café table on the side of the house with potted plants to make me feel like I’m in Spain. A typical outing for us is a walk around the…


I was finishing the last of Thanksgiving dinner clean-up when I called my grandmother. She lives two hours away, and after a busy day I had to get in my holiday call before I started working on the praline topping for dessert. We chatted, me speaking slowly and loudly so her 96-year-old ears could hear, exchanging updates about anything new in our lives.

“Nothing new here,” she reported. “Nobody in the neighborhood has died.”

“Nothing new here either,” I reported back. No deaths in my neighborhood either.

She started talking about her walker, how important it was, indispensable to her…


“He has an obstruction in his intestines,” the vet said over the phone, his accent strong, some of his words difficult for me to understand.

I was $600 into veterinarian bills, over my head in pandemic fatigue and only parenting fatigue and politics fatigue and general life fatigue, an x-ray, a barium test, and three days of cat throw-up.

I squinted, as if that could help me hear him better, kind of like how I turn down the music in the car when I’m trying to figure out directions, pulling all of my senses on board to troubleshoot a problem.

Teresa Shimogawa

Teresa writes at www.houseofteresa.com

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