Small Conceits

Musings. Stories. Poems. From where I stand.

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A Gift of Donut Holes

“Here are donut holes, for you.”

The slender Asian woman behind the counter smiles and hands me a white, waxed-paper bag with a dozen or so sugar-glazed, cloud-soft donut holes nestled in the bottom. I accept it and carry it out to the car with my other bag of donuts — the ones I’ve selected for purchase — my heart doing a happy pitter-pat.

It’s not just the donut holes that make me happy — although they do make me happy; MJ’s Donuts are a local favorite — it’s the way they’re presented to me. What she says. The way she says it: “Here are donut holes, for you.” Not: “Have some free donut holes!” or, even, “Here are a few extra donut holes to add to your order,” but “Here are donut holes for you.”

It’s the for you that gets me. Like she was saving that bag, off to the left of the cash register, just for me. Never mind that she’s said the same thing to every customer who’s bought donuts this morning — and that she says it to me every time I visit the shop. None of that matters. In that moment, as she’s offering the donut holes for me, something magical occurs: She somehow knows I was coming, so she kept this small stash of deliciousness aside just waiting to surprise me with it. To delight me. To add something a little special to my purchase, knowing it would make me smile.

It’s a tiny connection, a trick of language performed by a woman whose thick accent clearly defines her as a non-native speaker. But it makes all the difference in how I walk out into the world and view the rest of my day.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash


Hello there. I’m pausing for a moment in the flow of all the things I’m creating to note an anniversary of sorts.

On July 7, 2015, I launched this blog so I’d have a place to put my grief for my dying dog, Coyote, who quietly and patiently taught me more about grace than any human ever could. Nearly two and a half years later, I’m still (sporadically) writing about the things that are important to me, the things that amuse me, the things that catch my attention. And now, I’m also preparing to use it as a place to put my gratitude to and for another dog, with whom I embarked on one of the most exciting adventures of a brave new life we were creating together. That dog — my vibrant, goofy, enthusiastic, loving boy — my Bodhi — is also gone. But before he left me, he joyfully inspired me to start living the life I once only imagined.

So, the anniversary: This is my 100th post in a blog that’s as strange and unfocused as the mind that produced all that writing — more like a high school variety show than a serious literary undertaking.

And I’m not only okay with that strangeness, I celebrate it.

Because, dammit, I’m writing. And that’s what I was meant to do, in whatever form my Muse sees fit to forcibly drag out of me.

So raise your glass and toast along with me: To madness and musings and misadventures. To haiku and hilarity and horse-hockey. To love and laughter and loss. To all the things that make us know we’re alive.

To Small Conceits! Happy 100th, you reckless child of my heart.