My Best Reader has Left Me

Mother at her 90th birthday party Marguerite Virginia Price Van Hecke died on May 29, 2020, following emergency surgery. Virginia was born on June 9, 1929, on the Road of Remembrance in Jackson, Mississippi, as the second child of Maggie Mae and James Murray Price, a little girl who was to have been named George William. From the start, she never...

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Silver Linings in a Cloud

It is 9:00am. I have walked the dog, fried eggs for breakfast, and wiped down all the frequently touched surfaces in the apartment. I’ve taken out the trash and the recycle, fed the dog, and helped my husband with his needs as a post-surgery patient. I’ve cleaned the dishes and started a load of laundry. Between care duties and the coronavirus,...

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We are Wonders of the Universe

They were strangers to me. One I had met the Sunday before and spoken with for about five minutes. The workshop host I had admired mostly from afar and met with to set up the workshop. The group had a mother and daughter in it, but otherwise, they appeared to be as unknown to each other as they were to me. Now, we, this group of strangers, were...

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That is Life

Last night, riding home, we watched the clouds pass across the moon, revealing and retreating. Gandy, the boys, and me—tracking, commenting, announcing our sightings when the moon revealed itself. Sighing when it hid its light. A normal night turned magical. * The youngest...

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The Art of Canoeing

When I married the first time, my parents gave me a bed as my wedding gift. A fancy, romantic, four-poster bed. It was what I asked for. By the time I quit that marriage, my husband hadn’t had sex with me in a month of Sundays. When I married this time, I asked for a canoe. Canoeing, like love, is not for the faint of heart. Unlike love, however,...

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Those People on the Wall

I know what my ancestors looked like because their portraits hung on the wall. This is something I’ve always taken for granted. The portraits hang at what we call “505” (the house has a real name under the National Register of Historic Places—the Joseph Henry Morris House—but no one calls it anything but 505.) This man, the...

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Central Station Hotel

When I heard Memphis developer Henry Turley was renovating the old central train station into a hotel, I was ecstatic. When I heard he was turning the current ticket office for the train into a bar, not so much. I ride the train. I use the ticket office and waiting area when coming and going on the train. I did not want developers to take a...

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South Main, Y’all

In my neighborhood, Saturday mornings are: guests brewing on the sidewalks outside coffee shops women so new to their bicycles that I walk in the street to stay safe an elderly hat-wearing man who could be a prophet or celebrity. Or homeless. headphones and horn honks and posing for photos in front of the Blues Museum cowboy boots...

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