Who would I be if I had never known you?

I was driving slowing down our dirt road, giving the song time to finish before I reached home.  I looked across the farm land and saw our neighbor’s house.  I had an instant thought—I would be a different person had I not known those people, my dear neighbors.

They showed me a world I never knew.

From near birth, they were a part of my life.  I witnessed life being lived by good, honest people with incredible work ethic, both at my house and at their house.  Together they raised me to live a life absent of envy; an incredible thing, really, the roots of which I cannot explain.  I learned that people are just people.  Every family has problems and troubled times—there is no need to hide in shame when you can seek solace in the arms of family and good friends. Continue reading


It’s Thanksgiving and I wish I could be a kid again.

It’s Thanksgiving and I woke this morning thinking about my Grandma.  Sometimes it’s hard to find the spirit of the holidays when you have lost your center—the center of your family—your mother, your grandmother, your heart.

Growing up, holidays were about going to Grandma’s house.  They were the best days of the year.  Your little heart was so filled with such gladness as you dressed in your new clothes, anxious to get to Grandma’s.

Is there anything better than walking into a small house filled with people who love you?  Oh, the smells…turkey, ham, and pie (with cool-whip.)  My Gram would make lemon and orange meringue pie with really high peaks.  The adults would sit around the big table and munch on mixed nuts and chocolates, while us kids would sit on the stairs and talk about who knows what.

My Gram has been gone 20 years now and I lost my Mammaw this past spring.  It’s hard not to think of them today, but I am so lucky to have my Mother and Father with me.  They have always been my center and I am truly blessed.

Character Study

I discovered a column called “Character Study” in the Sunday New York Times.  Each week, a New Yorker is profiled:  the Grande Dame of Staten Island; a female funeral director in Brooklyn with purple finger nails who offers wake packages for $1999; a Queens garbage collector who studies the Irish language between pick-ups.

I have always been fascinated by people who are different from me.  I believe that the average, unknown person is where the great stories are–not celebrities and famous people.  I have wanted to write some sort of book with stories about ordinary folks that I crossed paths with; to listen to their story and pull the amazing parts together.  You can learn a lot about yourself by studying the lives of others.  You have more in common with a pierced, blue-haired person than you could ever believe. Continue reading