Grinch or Jesus?

Why would we create a season of joy then scowl and purse our lips when those not “us” partake? “Happy Holidays!” “Merry Christmas!” The “reason for the season” is Jesus’s love. Given to us freely, yet we can’t share? The flash of a delighted child’s eye. An early Christmas morn...

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“The check or the email?”

A friend who’d read my blog entry about my book asked: “So, what did you decide – the check or the email?” It reminded me of when someone is telling a story to make a point and I’m listening not to the message but to the plot and they get to the end and I ask, “So . . . what happened to the chicken?” My friend was responding to the...

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Fear or Assistance: You Need Me for WHAT?

I have trouble staying in relationship with needy people. I’m not talking about female friends who’ve just broken up with the man of their dreams. I’m talking about people who need a ride to the Social Security Office. Those who need someone to visit them in jail. Those who ask if maybe they could stay in my spare bedroom. Those who telephone...

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Gifts Unknowingly Given

I didn’t know what cool was until my stepsister Elise came into my life. Christmas of my eighth grade, I weighed eighty pounds. I know this because my new school required a photo id, and the plastic-encased id included my weight. My new father had moved us to a new city, and I’d fallen into a group of friends, but I don’t remember ever starting...

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Thomas Aubrey Hill Prewitt: A Found Poem

When all of my friends and loved ones exuberated at the birth of my grandbaby, I saved their words and found a poem. The words are now tucked in a handmade book to be delivered tomorrow. Here they are: Thomas Aubrey Hill Prewitt: A Found Poem Babies take their own time coming into our world wander around New Orleans, people pretend not to notice holding...

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They Say Things Don’t Matter

Bigmama was there, because I used the dessert plates she gave me. Washing up afterwards, I turned them over and there on the tape on the back was her cursive: “Ellen.” Hers, too, were the ice cream dishes that held cranberry sauce, pickles, and jam; we had jam because Bigmama always had jelly or jam for any formal meal. My younger...

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Creative Synthesis: The Guards and Compassion

I was upset, because my friend had been admitted—not his idea—to a mental health facility for evaluation. I was nervous because I’d never been to a mental hospital before. (Yes, I’d painted the lobby at Whitfield for the Junior League, but this was a whole different ballgame.) Finally, I was frightened because it was two days after Halloween...

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Creative Synthesis: Slop and New Life

Anyone who thinks loving the earth is beautiful has never kept a compost bucket. Squishy pumpkin guts. Black coffee grounds. Gobs of gooey matter whose origin as food is no longer discernible. We load the bucket into the back of the pickup truck and ride to Binghampton where we lift the lid of this paint bucket that we’ve fancied-up by calling...

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Creative Synthesis: Mummies and Ginkgos

I went for the mummies hanging in the trees. What I found were the ginkgos. The yard had won “Best Overall” for its eerie bodies wrapped in spidery cocoons swaying from tree branches. I wanted my husband to see it, simply because it was spectacular. I’m more a fool for Halloween than he is, but those upside-down bodies! When we turned and left...

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