Rambutans or chôm chôms in Vietnamese.

Steal Steal Fruit

Rambutans—Their Vietnamese name, chôm chôm, means “pointy” for the soft spines covering them. My husband says chôm also means steal. Growing up he thought the name meant “steal steal.” “Steal steal” is the perfect name because that’s how good they taste.

A family altar honoring ancestors.

Grandfather’s Death

I touch Grandfather’s arm. He still feels warm. I look for him to make the slightest motion to show his soul is around. There’s nothing. Two men place the coffin on sawhorses so that Grandfather’s head points west. The dead always face the setting sun. The date the monks said would be best for burying…

Backyard Chicken

Expensive Chickens

My daughter has a job babysitting chickens for our neighbors when they’re on vacation. A side benefit is fresh eggs. Last time most of the chickens were molting, so she said they were crabby. They didn’t want her to pick them up. Only the one chicken that wasn’t molting was laying eggs. She gets paid quite…