Here I sit on the east-bound Empire Builder, next to a scowling woman whose duffel bag is enjoying an angry portion of my foot space. She pretended to be asleep across two entire seats – hers and potentially mine – before I politely exclaimed, “Excuse me,” and claimed one of the only available seats in this crowded train car. I could have chosen a place by any number of groggy men; I could have awakened other disingenuous female sleepers. But this one I chose simply because her face wasn’t hidden behind one of those popular blankets with the tassels tied together. Continue reading
Category Archives: Karen Van Fossan
An energetic and organized person somewhere has probably spelled out the nearly infinite ways children can spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day: sledding, ice skating, playing with favorite toys, taunting brothers and sisters.
Somewhere, toward the end of the list, would be this:
“Trying to find healing and hope in a restrictive residential treatment program for children who, with rare exception, have experienced severe abuse and neglect.” Continue reading
by Karen Van Fossan
A) Something I don’t have to bother Mom about right now.
B) Something I do.
My mom has had the same work number since I was eight years old, so there’s something extra comforting about dialing that combination and getting her voice – Continue reading
By Karen Van Fossan
When I was a kid, I had this curious revelation that sometimes I could think thoughts about others which they were not thinking about themselves. Since that time, I’ve not only wondered, Who am I? but also, Who am I to you? Continue reading
Karen Van Fossen
I have gathered myself into bed beneath a crucifix, something that doesn’t often happen in my life. More than once, I have caught myself saying, “I am so happy,” for only my ears to hear. This joy is not inspired by the African-looking Jesus on a mahogany-looking cross above my head. But I’m just where I wish to be: taking a retreat with the Presentation Sisters in Fargo; settling into Guest Room #2, the African Room. Continue reading
By Karen Van Fossan
If you live in Bismarck, North Dakota, or if you’ve ever been here, you’ve probably noticed the difference between East Rosser Avenue and the Missouri River. They are thoroughfares, both of them, but after that, the comparison gets pretty thin – especially if you happen to be a turtle. Continue reading