How Writing Others’ Stories is Writing a Better Me

Last Thursday driving east to where home used to be, my mind swelled with stories.  It always does, but they used to be about me.  This time in the eight hours from Pickens, SC to Hampton, VA, I was bursting with ideas from three interviews in the days prior.  Evan, Sue, Chris.  When I visit, I’ve got so many friends and family to see that I couch surf from home to home, no desk in sight.  Those had been vacations.  Now, I’m a writer.  Where would these people’s stories come to life?

Pain Management

We avoid pain, but its presence tells us something is wrong.  I knew I needed a root canal and two trigger thumb surgeries this month.  After each procedure, the affected areas remained numb for hours, and I was told to avoid use until that wore off; absent pain, I could cause further damage.  Is the same true for emotional pain, and if so, do our human efforts to numb and avoid it actually damage us more?

Not a Typical Tuesday

Today's not a typical Tuesday nor Teacher's Day.  I'm having the third of four hand surgeries in fifteen months.  Typing and crocheting likely got me here, and I hope I'm able to get back to both quickly.  Last year, it was bilateral carpal tunnel.  This month, it's bilateral trigger thumb.  My doctor will fix the … Continue reading Not a Typical Tuesday

Death on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick is said to have died March 17th over 1500 years ago. Was it expected?  It wasn’t when my mother’s mother died on the same date fifty-one years ago.  It wasn’t when my friend died on St. Patrick’s Day just past.  I’ve never believed in luck, but for me, it’s a day that marks loss instead...

The Last Spring

A sweet Carolina sunset taunts me with spring. There’s promise in the tulips, hope in sparrows, and new life evident in the allergy attack seizing Pickens County.  The juxtaposition of life and death sobers me now, and the mountains here are likewise juxtaposed with the oceans I left behind... (a tribute to Joshua Welker)

Looking Beyond the Microscope Lens

My week and a half long road trip to Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina was an exciting adventure, but coming home to missed friends and family was heartwarming. And for the first time in my life, I returned to a missed garden as well. After seven hours on the road heading north, rocking out to … Continue reading Looking Beyond the Microscope Lens

Analogies Don’t Take a Vacation

Tonight, I couldn’t begin to name half the plants that surround me as I recline poolside in a lawn chair overlooking Lake Minnehaha in Uncle Paul’s back yard in Maitland. Florida’s greenery hosts many foreign breeds to this novice gardener. Nevertheless, a day trip to Bok Tower Gardens nearly an hour and a half southwest … Continue reading Analogies Don’t Take a Vacation

A White Wicker Loveseat

One needn’t look at a calendar tonight to know summer has arrived in Hampton. The sun has yet to set, the temperature is in the nineties, the neighbors are packing fishing gear into their truck, and Mrs. Washington two doors down is watering her garden.   At seventy-six years old, her body is so ridden with … Continue reading A White Wicker Loveseat

A Garden Make-Over: Seeds of Hope

My wind chimes are silent, but there’s a chorus in calls of the birds accompanied by the syncopated rain drops dipping from the trees and the roof. When my father visited recently, he identified the call of a male cardinal. As I type to the irregular beat, seven unique squawks and whistles sing with me … Continue reading A Garden Make-Over: Seeds of Hope

Flowers Die, Life Goes On

Last week I returned to Home Depot to purchase new hanging baskets. Mary helped me this time. “Hanging baskets that need shade, please! I've all but killed the last ones by failing to give them enough sunlight. I didn’t realize my front porch doesn’t get any sun,” I admitted with eyes downcast in embarrassment. There … Continue reading Flowers Die, Life Goes On