red fern frond

Sibling rivalry

“Have you told your brother?” Momentarily speechless, my mouth agape, I finally shook off my stunned silence. “No, and I have no intention of telling him.” It was our dad’s turn to be dumbfounded. “How can you not?” “It’s really easy. I deleted his cell number from my phone, I blocked his emails, he never…

applepieWM

Pi Day

Three one four, et al A day to celebrate pie Pizza or apple My grandma Jessie could baked the heck out of some pies. Her coconut cream and lemon meringue pies were legendary. The crusts were light and flaky, melt in your mouth goodness. She died in 1997 at 81 years old. I miss her,…

mason jar of iced tea

Straddling the Mason/Dixon line

I am the product of a mixed-marriage. My mother is a southern belle and my father is a damn Yankee. Dad drinks Michelob out of a bottle, and my mother sips sweet tea from a mason jar. She says, “God bless you,” and he says, “Gawd dammit!” Unfortunately for them, their romance didn’t take the…

shopping cart shadow

Clean up on aisle five

A well-dressed couple sat across the desk from me. I sensed an air of sadness surrounding the man, but the woman’s face was a study in emotions – aggravation mixed with glee - like wet confetti at a New Year’s Day parade. “What sort of trouble has she gotten into this time?” The woman crossed her…

orange sunset

A tangerine sky

“She needs more paper and colored pencils.” Two men stood behind a large window, observing a young woman in the adjacent room. Bent closely over a pile of white pages covered in detailed drawings, she meticulously added lines to her images. A supply of pencils was scattered haphazardly across the table. A closer look showed…

hearthandhome

Memories for sale

The house looks smaller than I remembered. I can see tarpaper under some of the broken roofing tiles. The driveway’s crumbling shoulders and huge cracks running through the asphalt are big enough to swallow the yellow Corvair my dad once parked under the carport. Dingy, colorless vinyl siding covers the original stone façade. Looking around…

cemetery angel statue

Legend

She was larger than life. A goddess of courage and virtue, intellect and strength. In the eyes of my mother, her martyred baby sister could do no wrong. I grew up living with her name, and failing in my attempts to live up to her legacy. My bedtime stories were tales of her adventures, my…

turtles on a log

We are family

Blood is thicker than water, but ink is thicker than blood. Over the years, I have gathered a tribe, formed my own family of brothers and sisters. We have a shared love of words, passing around quips and phrases like well-loved heirlooms. Spread out to the four corners of the world, we are as close…

notaryWM

Hometown girl

She was going home. College and grown-up life had kept her away for more than seven years. She called her parents every Sunday, and stayed in contact with a few high school friends who never moved away, but it wasn’t the same. She missed the late nights cruising main street with her girls, Friday home…