Grace Notes
A hopeful newspaper column ~ by Natalie Costanza-Chavez
Columns About Joy

Captain Marvel Ring
After spending the week helping my parents pack up the home I’d grown up in, it was time to fly back to Colorado. My Dad lifted the red suitcase up to the airline scale and watched the number flick to 62 pounds – 12 pounds over the limit. I paid the fee.
No One Can Help Us Now
No one can help us now. December and we are standing at the center of a compass, the arrow whirling and whirling, trying to settle on direction, on destination. All day we pass people blowing past and off each other – unlike Mary Poppins, they need no parrot headed umbrellas: the frenetic energy of the season propels them like marbles spun on ice
Smashing Witches
Only drug stores used to stock October fare. Costumes were stacked in cardboard boxes, each with a peek-window of cellophane for the masks to peer through. The shifts of slippery cloth imprinted with pirate stripes, or the outline of a nurse’s dress, or the spots of a leopard, were secondary. In the choosing, the masks came first.
Avoiding the Judder of Revolutions
The end of summer doesn’t so much pour itself gently on us as it simply and startlingly arrives. The “oops-trip” and “almost-dropped-you” feeling that our finally-found rhythms are slipping off the very edge of a lemonade tray invades. We sense the warning that we need to readjust, realign – find our balance all over again.
Boys Alight, Girls A-Twirl
Two weeks ago, on the last day of school, I stood outside and watched: boys after the bell. Bursting from the building like firecrackers alight, they fizzed and buzzed. The backpacks detached first – flying through the air like colored sparks flung and raining down. Thud. Thud. Thud. They landed and piled, heaps of Gortex and canvas.
The Joshua Trees
The road out of Las Vegas, toward California, traces through the Mojave Desert and sashays across the pan flat floor of Death Valley. As I drove it with my husband and children, we were one week closer to the cold side of spring.