About Diane Chiddister

Diane Chiddister is a journalist and former editor of the Yellow Springs News in Yellow Springs, Ohio. She’s also a short story writer and 1981 MFA graduate of the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She currently lives in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

A dog park theory of aging

Many years ago, I spent a summer in New York City, along with my sheltie, Sophie. We spent countless hours in a Greenwich Village dog park, where I noticed a curious pattern. The regulars who came to the park -- the tall TV executive with his bulldog, the retired librarian with her terrier -- seemed to transform as they left. As they walked out of the park, each person turned into a brusque, harried New Yorker. But inside the park each showed a softness, a vulnerability, and our conversations were surprisingly deep. This softness was, I believe, linked to our [...]

By |2022-04-03T14:55:25+00:00April 3rd, 2022|Essays|0 Comments


You might ask why I recently found myself walking barefoot the six blocks to my home, at night, in late winter. I’d realized too late that I left my shoes in the baby’s room at my daughter’s house just as she was beginning the bedtime routine, and retrieving them would disrupt that process. But I had to go home. My daughter’s shoes were too small for me, her husband’s too big, and I hadn’t worn socks. So I did a quick calculation – not too cold, no snow on the ground, not too far. Sure, I could make it. [...]

By |2022-03-18T15:43:27+00:00March 17th, 2022|Essays, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Extra light

Since the time change a few weeks ago, I often sit and gaze out my window after dinner, letting the new light wash over me. Memories wash over, too, of being a kid on long ago April evenings after the days just got longer. The air smelled of spring, earthy and fresh, as after dinner we neighborhood kids— Dickie Hanshew, Jackie Renner and me — scrambled down the alley behind our houses, playing tag, riding bikes, chasing each other. Alleys held just the right mix of safety and mystery: the mystery of secrets glimpsed in garages and trash cans, the [...]

By |2022-03-18T15:31:57+00:00December 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments


Recently, I read an interview with a well-known author, a woman in her late 50s, who joked that she wants to launch a private-eye business staffed by women her age and older. Older women in our culture are invisible, the author said, so they would make perfect spies. Her comment made me laugh. It also, after a recent cross-country train trip, made me wince a little. That trip was my first experience with feeling unseen. Mostly, I love riding Amtrak. I love feeling time moving slowly, spending hours watching as Montana rolls by, settling deeply into a novel. I love [...]

By |2022-03-18T15:32:25+00:00November 9th, 2021|Uncategorized|0 Comments
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