Katherine J. Zumpano
pnw | pisces | poet
co-eic of dollar store mag
social media: @kjzwrites
Crickets in the Field
The casket was closed. It was the one thing Freddie cared about, and the only input he gave when they discussed the funeral. He let Lisa and Jeremy sort out the rest. He didn’t care if she was cremated or buried, what kind of wood they chose for the coffin, or where they held the service. All he requested was that the casket stayed closed.
Fish Out of Water
Carmel, California. 2006. The first time I remember seeing the ocean. The first memory not on faded photographs, but in my mind. I wear a yellow sundress, brand new and already stained with ketchup. The water is clear, cool, and blue. The sand is hot under my bare feet; it clings to my toes. The sun is blinding. I squint at Grandpa Jim as he takes my picture, pose for the disposable camera. I stand in the ocean, hands about my head, thrilled to be standing in the Pacific Ocean – the real one, like you see on maps. I am ten years old and wish I could stay here. I don’t want to return to Ontario, to somewhere so far from this beach. Or any beach.
How Moving to the PNW Made Me Take Ocean Conservation Seriously
I’ve always loved water. Born in Minnesota, I remember exploring Minnehaha Falls as a child, and I enjoyed visiting my grandparents in California because we would spend time in Monterey. I’ve always felt connected to the water, and everything in it.
What the Stars Wrote About Me on the Day of My Birth
I am a traditional Pisces: an empath, who explores the world through my emotions; a creative, who often gets lost in daydreams; an idealist, who would rather find joy in my work than financial success. I am intuitive and indecisive, imaginative and introverted. I love romance and poetry, and I feel the extremes of all my emotions.
Dear Donald – Goodbye
Dear Donald, So this is it. In just a day, the United States of America will have a new president. A couple of years into your term, I wrote you another open letter. In it, I talked about the hate I have felt towards you and the members of your administration. I’m almost twenty-five years old, and I have known more hate than I would like. There are mornings I wake up and I can already feel it pulsing in my heart: rage, frustration, hopelessness. There are days I have to defend myself against personal attacks by ignorant people, questioning the kind of daughter/partner/person I am. There are nights I cry myself to sleep because I am exhausted and scared. Sometimes I struggle to find a balance between exerting necessary energy and wasting valuable energy. It’s been tricky to navigate my emotions during the last four years.
The Beginner's Guide to Free Speech
If you’ve been following the news lately, you probably already know that Donald Trump has been permanently suspended from Twitter. On January 8, 2021, the social media company posted the following statement to their blog:
Quarantine Snapshots: My Year in Photos
I think it’s pretty obvious that this year was nothing like I’d anticipated. I had all these plans — people I was going to see, places I was going to go — that never came to fruition. I was unable to see my family or friends for much of the year, instead relying on iMessage and FaceTime to keep us connected. I started my final year of college online, desperately wishing I could wait in a long line for campus coffee or get lost in Miller Hall one more time. I spent August in bed, recovering from a surgery I never thought I’d need.
9 Albums That Got Me Through 2020
I listened to a lot of music in 2020. Well, according to Spotify, I listened for 37,653 minutes, which seems like a lot. Much of my free time for the last nine months has been spent listening to music — playing an album while washing dishes or folding laundry has helped to break up the monotony of spending every day inside my apartment.
17 At-Home Activities for a Quarantine Christmas
If you usually celebrate the holidays with friends and family, it might feel strange to spend the holidays at home this year. It's better to keep yourself and others safe, but you might feel sad without the normal busy activity of the holiday season this year.
4 Simple DIY Crafts to Make At Home
I love making things. Whether it’s poems, cards, or crafts, I’m happiest when I’m creating something. A few years ago, I moved out of my parents’ house to finish college in another city. I was working ten hours a week at an on-campus job, so I didn’t have much disposable income for Christmas gifts. I started looking around online for inexpensive gift ideas and saw a lot of DIY projects – candles, bath salts, lip balms. I made sugar scrubs and bath salts that year, and was surprised by how much my friends and family liked them. It’s now a yearly tradition to whip up a batch of holiday candles, and I most of the gifts I give for birthdays and other occasions are homemade now, too.