More from HER MIND

Written and designed by women for women, HER MIND Magazine reports on the accomplishments, the celebrations and the challenges that Howard County, Maryland, women are involved with every day. Essays by Christine Grillo. Illustrations by Paige Vickers.


Give Me a Break

March 2019
Last year was rough. I spent thousands of dollars on my house, but not the fun kind of dollars where things look prettier when you’re done. This was money spent on a sump pump, exterminators, mold removal, new wiring, a toilet flange. At one point, my 13-year-old son and I stood in the basement during a storm and watched in horror as the walls oozed water, like that scene in The Shining, where the elevator oozes blood. [link]

Witchy Woman

December 2018
My daughter recently suggested the possibility that I’m on my way to becoming a witch. She might be right. It wasn’t intentional, this transformation. Well, maybe a little intentional. [link] [pdf]

Listen to the Frogs

September 2018
For those hours on the millpond, the earth didn’t seem fragile. There were plenty of frogs doing what frogs
do—calling out for mates so that they can reproduce and make more frogs. They made us laugh and anticipate. The frogs were all right. [link] [PDF]


Please Don’t Ask

June 2018
Do we have any other food in the house?
This is the Number One question that needs to be banned from my life. It’s the triple-axle of evil queries, weaving together a complaint, a judgment and a passive aggressive request. I mean, dudes. I have bread, I have eggs, I have cold cuts. [link] [PDF]

Good Fortune

March 2018
Not long ago I got a profoundly unsatisfying fortune in a fortune cookie. It made me pout, scratch my head, second-guess and even solicit input from the Facebook hive-mind. The words on the slip of paper were as follows: “Your blessing is no more than being safe and sound for a whole lifetime.” [link] [pdf]

Domestic Attack

November 2017
She yearns for one of those homes that you walk into in the fall and there’s a dining room table with a bowl of cinnamon-scented pinecones as a centerpiece. She wants our house to smell like lilies in summer and evergreen in winter. [link] [pdf]

Sweet Second Chances

September 2017
It’s been nearly 20 years since I planted it, but I still get reports from time to time from friends who find themselves strolling down 6th Avenue in spring. The tree, they tell me, is majestic. It’s everything I hoped it would be when I planted it. These reports always bring me to tears. [link] [pdf]

The Zen of Middle Age

June 2017
“Maybe you could be the artsy mom.” This was my teenage daughter’s best attempt at compromise. After she turned 13, she started longing for a stylish mom, or a fun mom, or a mom who likes the mall—and I was a brutal disappointment. [link] [PDF]

A Woman of Her Time

March 2017
Her interest in home decor began and ended with porcelain knickknacks in the shape of fancy slippers. What gave her joy? To me, it seemed that what she loved most was taking the bus into the city and working in an office. [link] [pdf]

Are You My Child?

November 2016
More than 20 years ago I donated my eggs a couple times out of sheer pragmatism. I was in my 20s, living in New York and working at a nonprofit – that should be enough to indicate my financial distress at the time. By “donated,” of course, I mean “sold.” [link] [pdf]