Family

The First Blizzard

I really couldn’t have scripted it better, the blizzard rolling into the city just in time for my second trip to the hospital that month. The first one had been unplanned, a midnight ambulance ride on the first deeply cold night of the year. I shared the emergency room at the city hospital with the […]

Between Rock Face and River

  When Phoenix started walking she pretty much just skipped the “find your feet” part and just went into full-scale running. She would run with this awkward gait, her hands flung out at her side, her head pushed out as far as it could go, and she would sprint on her toes. She did nothing […]

An Atmospheric Low of the Soul

cy·clone ˈsīˌklōn/ noun METEOROLOGY a system of winds rotating inward to an area of low atmospheric pressure, with a counterclockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation; a depression. Four months into the journey of motherhood, and my world is spinning. Sleepless nights, disordered days and the constant companionship of self-doubt swirl around me fiercely. […]

Pulling in the Anchor

      I am afraid of the sea.    Like my phobia of heights, this fear is at odds with the rest of me. For I am both a tree-climber (yes, at 37, still) and a beach lover. It is not the working my way up a rough trunk, finding toe-holds in knots and branches, but the […]

Camping in the Rubble

A cyclone threatened.  We knew the devastation it would leave in its wake would be enormous. As it began, we had no idea what the consequential damage would be, but we knew that it could not be stopped, and we had to wait until it had blown through before we’d know whether repair was going to be […]

That Wild Road

We were standing together on the southern slope when she showed me where the roof came clean off of her neighbor’s barn. Her own barn had lost just a bit of trim, she said. Though it did clock her mother-in-law on the shoulder as they came out to check on the animals. Still. They were blessed.  I had […]

Free Fall

  May 27, 2009. This is the day I learn I have cancer. Weird. I never thought I’d hear those words. I am still drowsy from anesthesia. The doctor just comes in, and she says, “Well, we thought it was hemorrhoids, but it’s not. It’s a tumor. It’s cancer.” Just like that. Now I am […]

Learning to Float

I don’t like going out in boats. There is something about a “recreational” structure floating out in the vast expanse of dark deep water where at any moment a storm could strike, sending me to an untimely death, which makes the idea of a relaxing boat ride nonexistent in my world. The bright orange vest […]

Surviving the Storm

I recently watched (read: sobbed through) an interview of a woman whose children were killed in the Tornado that savagely tore through Arkansas last year. One minute their hands were clasped together in the living room, the next she was face down, pantless, and severely injured, lying in a field of nothingness. But when she […]

What I Want Them to Remember

Their nightstand and bookshelves tell you all you’d need to know. Anne of Green Gables, Ramona, Laura Ingalls Wilder. We have Girls Think of Everything, Rosie Revere Engineer, Not One Damsel in Distress. Harriet Tubman. Helen Keller. Sojourner Truth. Marie Curie. These are their heroes. We go through our Bible with care and find all […]

That’s What She Said: The Story of Marcia Melissa Bassett-Goodwin

I’m in a class right called Restoration History, and before the semester began it was the course I was looking forward to the least. An entire semester of learning about old, dead white men who were racist, sexist, and worst of all: privileged and unaware? No thank you. Needless to say it was an experience […]

Why I’ll Never Put A Lily At My Mother’s Grave

When I was married, I gifted with great ceremony white lilies to three older women that I loved. My blood mother. My stepmother. My mother-in-law. I carried the long and elegant stems across the pebbles toward their wooden folding chairs. All three of them died young. Cancer, cancer, and a freakish surprise sort of thing […]