Shopping Olympics 7

Aug. 21st would have been our mother’s 69th birthday. She has been gone nine years, and her birthday is bittersweet. However, we will celebrate by remembering Mom’s Olympic sport: Shopping. She loved to go and just look around. The mall, craft shows, garage sales. The fun was in the hunt, but also in the company — usually her three daughters. Our father was baffled over how we could spend so much time shopping. He accused her of going to town every day, sometimes twice a day. Once to […]

2005 Family Photo: Kandace Chapple, Kerry Winkler, Barry Kalnbach (not in koala shirt for once), Judy Kalnbach (tags just cut off new shirt) and Lori Maki.

Go Kartin’

So Nelson wanted to go-kart. About three inches ago. He could not drive. Could only be the passenger. For years it seemed. 10 to exact. Finally, two summers ago he was narrowing in on it. We went to the go-kart track after determining at home that he was just maybe a quarter-inch too short or a quarter-inch tall enough, depending on the angle at which one measured and the loft of his hair. Surely, the measurement at the track would be just as random and we […]


The Garth Brooks Fiasco 10

We took the boys to their first “big” concert: Garth Brooks at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids. “Will it be wild?” they asked. I told them this was the big time, complete with 40-somethings up past their bedtime and $12 beers at the concession stand. But, given that it was, in fact, 40-somethings, I figured no major shenanigans would be going on. Their innocence wouldn’t be robbed and we wouldn’t spend the night in the middle of a brawl. Wrong. The concert itself […]

Us, at the bathrooms, not in a fight.

Switching Places

I am an identical twin. And, yes, we have switched places. Just once. In 6th grade, when we were so exactly identical that the world was ours for the taking. It started because our cousins in the Yoop kept asking us if we’d ever switched. To be honest, we were the goodiest pair of two shoes you could find and we were shocked at the mere suggestion of it. But the seed was planted. What would it take to mastermind such deceit? Not much, it turned […]

K&K youngsters

Traverse Magazine essay: The Blanket

I published an essay in the May 2016 issue of Traverse Magazine.  We took the kids out back several nights last summer. Spread a big blanket in the yard, a huge fuzzy one from the flea market in Buckley. I picked it out after seven years of not picking it out. Read more here: