A return to Topeka

I don’t remember who first noticed the nests – two of them, huge and a couple of stories above our heads. These were no nests that you sometimes see on the sidewalk fallen from the trees of my east Lawrence neighborhood; these reminded me of the ones I’ve seen from a distance on my paddle…

Self Care

Anthony Bourdain’s suicide took my breath away. Restaurant work consumed my life for almost twenty years and when I read Kitchen Confidential and The Nasty Bits, I was blown away. And then his television life – it all seemed almost unbelievable. Look, someone got out of the kitchen as a writer! And such a damn…

Us Too

I’m not chatty on airplanes. I mean, I do try to be polite, maybe a little how’s it going? before I dig into whatever book or writing I brought along. But this trip was different. I’ve been thinking about conversations lately (and chatting about it on Facebook Live if you are over there). So when the man…

My next book is a memoir

I love to read – always have – and especially memoirs. Years ago I read A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers and for the first time wondered if I could ever write about my family. I was not a writer – I was a reader, I was a restaurateur – yet for over a decade…

Remembering My Dad on World AIDS Day

My dad, Joh Krider, died from AIDS complications almost exactly twenty years ago in December 1996. This picture of us was taken over a year before he died. There is so much I love about it, not the least of which is that it captures me rocking my favorite outfit of that era. I only…

Inspired

When I think of being in an inspiring environment I think of water. The kind of water that goes as far as eye can see, as though it will never meet solid ground. The kind of water that doesn’t exist in the native prairies of my Kansas homeland. The kind of water that clearly exerts…

StoryCorps Magic

Do you believe that one conversation can change your life? If ever I had doubted it, now I know for sure that it’s true. This is my new friend Melanie. We met to participate in a StoryCorps interview. She had been a nurse with AIDS patients for the over thirty years. We met in Chicago…

Because It’s Father’s Day

Father’s Day can be one of those bittersweet holidays. I’ll start with my sweet, this guy… He’s been carrying those two since they were born. He always shows up, constantly sacrifices for their behalf, is spontaneous and fun, and is such a great model of hard work and ingenuity. I am daily grateful for the…