Open Mike

I was dragging my feet getting ready. For as long as I can remember, we've had an open mike for folks to share their thank-yous the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  Children often go first and warm up the crowd with sweeping praises, "Thank you, God, for the whole wide world," and with smaller ones, "We have… Continue reading Open Mike

Wildflowers

The sun was blinding me through the library windows.  We've had rain, rain, and more rain for weeks on end, so the sunshine was a big deal this morning and was more than welcomed.  It was worshiped. It felt like a long awaited vacation, like springtime and flowers, like a throwback to "normal life" at… Continue reading Wildflowers

The Candy Man

I’ve landed in Houston to meet my 7th grand-baby boy, born last week. The Lyft app just alerted me: "Driver, Maria Patrica, Silver Toyota Corolla. Lane 5, door #E-102."I see no door E-102 where I'm standing outside of terminal A. There's no E anywhere inside either, except for the arrow to the E-terminal, pointing straight… Continue reading The Candy Man

The Log

Sleep is elusive at 60. Whereas babies and children used to wake me in the middle of the night, and after that, teenagers coming in late, now getting up for the bathroom does. Once I'm awake, it's hard to get back to sleep.  And then there are the unexplained wake up calls, the ones that… Continue reading The Log

The Purge

The nest is empty.  Our last fledgling is settled into college dorm life and has already slept through his first test, while his mama-bird, blissfully unaware, awoke to her to-do-or-not-to-do list, none of it involving him. I've been preparing Stone his whole life--and myself all year--for when he would be washing his own socks and… Continue reading The Purge

The Bed That Wouldn’t Fit

I ordered my dream bed from a shop on Etsy, a carved and distressed French Victorian fit for a king and queen, or wannabes.  I ordered it in late February and received it sixteen weeks later, a sign that unless the New Jersey shop owners were felling trees and building beds on demand, my bed… Continue reading The Bed That Wouldn’t Fit

Lake Trip

It looked like the perfect spot for our family's vacation:  a rambling lakefront home in an out-of-the-way cove with covered dock, lots of porches, and plenty of bedrooms for our growing family of 15 with two more on-the-way.  It's a challenge to find a house nice enough that merits dropping everything to be together for a week, but not… Continue reading Lake Trip

Delighted In

The ache in my chest was a tight knot, a familiar feeling.  I tried to tell myself I didn’t care, to push it down as I always had.  I went for a bike ride on our trails, straining hard against the pedals to climb pasture hills as I pushed hard on the knot to force… Continue reading Delighted In

Passport to Punta Cana

It never occurred to me to check my passport status. At least, not until the day before we were due to leave. Twenty hours before, to be exact. I had checked Stone's passport details thoroughly when I booked a trip with friends for spring break. He was now 19. Would his passport from age 16… Continue reading Passport to Punta Cana

In Flight

I’m heading to New Jersey, writing as I fly. It was cold and gray in Atlanta when I left, and it is colder and grayer where I’m going. According to my weather app, Princeton will have snow tomorrow. Right now, I’m looking forward to breaking through the clouds outside my window to the sunshiny blue… Continue reading In Flight

Just Sayin’

She was talking, but I wasn't listening. I was thinking about what I wanted to say. I don't have to tell you how popular this weakness of mine isn't, especially with my own family. "So what's your experience been?" she was asking. Caught red handed, I had no idea what she was talking about. "The… Continue reading Just Sayin’

Pining Poor

(Note: I've reposted this story from 2019, because it reminds me what I miss most about my church. Today, we met outside in our socially distant circles, and while I'm grateful we are meeting at all, I'm sad to be missing out on the kind of fellowship with my church family that's described in this… Continue reading Pining Poor

Troubling Ourselves

Mama is dying. I’m sitting in her bedroom next to her hospital bed, the metal rail cold against my leg.  The oxygen tube is bothering her and Vicky, her caregiver, is adjusting it as I write.  “That better, Martha?”  Mama moans. Mama normally reads a page from her devotional every night with Vicky.  When I… Continue reading Troubling Ourselves

Sifting

It's late.  Probably most of you are in your beds, cozy and comfortable, sifting through the day's events as you drift off to sleep.  That's where I'm heading after I hit send. But before I do, I want to sift through the events that happened here, and tell you about the day I had with… Continue reading Sifting

Joy at Dawn

I don't want to look at what's inside the Tupperware at the back of the fridge.  But once I brave it, I'm so relieved to start the task and be done with the judgment lurking in shadowy containers behind the non-expired hummus and pimento cheese.  There’s no guilt in dumping rotten food, no matter how… Continue reading Joy at Dawn

The Second Chance

He had been seeing a little boy’s head floating above the door in the hotel room.  And they had flown in an airplane they piloted across the mountain to attend Sadie’s wedding in our backyard.  Both of these stories gave us something to chuckle about at the reception.  Grammy drives a respectable Buick, and there… Continue reading The Second Chance

Making Room

I sat at the gate, sweating, praying that the Uber driver coming would be female. It was muggy-hot, like the air needed a good rinsing, and I chugged my Smart Water. The sky had clouded up since I’d sat down, a few raindrops on the sidewalk were disappearing. We’d had a little mix up about… Continue reading Making Room

Chautauqua

I hadn't really wanted to get up when the alarm went off at 3 a.m. for a shuttle to the Atlanta airport at 4 a.m. for a flight at 8 a.m., but I did because she'd asked me to come.  This was the daughter who had only recently begun to like me again, and I… Continue reading Chautauqua