Ladybug Table

My friend emails she’s left a stack of books in my barn on the ladybug table. The ladybug table! The children’s table my parents bought as young parents, when my sister was a toddler, long ago, when the US military was napalming Vietnam.

My friend remembers this table when her son and my daughter spent innumerable hours shaping playdough on its red-and-black surface, on breaks from tricycling around my kitchen and living room. Yes, we still have the ladybug table, worn hard from child use which might, perhaps, be the point of all this.

From one of those books…..

The cares of others can seem ridiculously small (banjo music!). And yet, maybe the small speaks to something larger. A wood beam, a hand-sewn dress, a carefully brewed coffee — each one a response to life’s uncertainty. An attempt to control what can be controlled, to make one thing as well as possible, and there’s something beautiful in that. The beauty of a slow-braised pork shoulder.

— Elisha Cooper, Falling: a Daughter, a Father, and a Journey Back



By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


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