S Is for a Sin & a Shame: #atozchallenge

  LONG before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it's an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come … Continue reading S Is for a Sin & a Shame: #atozchallenge

D Is for Stinky, Ruffy, and a Dollop of Muggs*: #atozchallenge

Probably no one man should have as many dogs in his life as I have had, but there was more pleasure than distress in them for me except in the case of an Airedale named Muggs. He gave me more trouble than all the other fifty-four or -five put together, although my moment of keenest … Continue reading D Is for Stinky, Ruffy, and a Dollop of Muggs*: #atozchallenge

Memories of July 19: Ros’nears

On June 19th, I wrote about the official Juneteenth holiday. Today I'm sharing a memory that surfaces every year when June 19 comes around. In my corner of the world, Juneteenth marks the time corn is ripe and ready to eat.  Although most people prefer sweet corn, my family ate field corn--roasting ears, commonly pronounced … Continue reading Memories of July 19: Ros’nears

#AtoZChallenge Day C: Contrariwise

I believe I've fallen behind. My Day B (April 2) post went online about five minutes before Day C started in my time zone. Now, less than four hours before Day D begins, I'm just starting on Day C. Technically, I'm okay--observing the letter of the law (take some time to chuckle over that before … Continue reading #AtoZChallenge Day C: Contrariwise

Sycamore

By this time tomorrow, the sycamore tree in my front yard will be gone. Sycamores need a lot of water, and over the past few years, Texas, like the rest of the Southwest, has suffered a severe drought. The tree was one of its casualties. So tomorrow it has to go. I'll be there when it … Continue reading Sycamore

Petting Zoos, Methodists, and Misbehavior

The petting zoo has come to BookPeople! Consequently, the average age in the coffee shop--aka my office--is considerably lower than usual. I estimate it at approximately two. Normally I filter out noise and activity to concentrate on writing. The ability to hyperfocus is a gift. Today, however, what's going on around me is more interesting than … Continue reading Petting Zoos, Methodists, and Misbehavior

The House

Only Day 2, and I'm already tempted to drop out of Writing 101. Yesterday I had all day. I started early, ignored the instructions and wrote what and how I wanted, and took my time doing it. Fine. Today I had both morning and afternoon meetings, and now I'm as tired as I was when … Continue reading The House

Billie

My father would have been ninety-nine years old today. In September, he'll have been gone for thirty-one years. It's easier to imagine him as the child in this picture than to imagine him at ninety-nine. Of two things, however, I'm certain: If here were here today, his blue eyes would still be twinkling, and  he … Continue reading Billie

Crystal

For my mother born in Martindale, Texas, 1917 In all her seventy-five years, she never grew old. * The courage that my mother had Went with her, and is with her still: Rock from New England quarried; Now granite in a granite hill. The golden brooch my mother wore She left behind for me to wear; I have no thing … Continue reading Crystal

Billie

My father would have been ninety-eight years old today. In September, he'll have been gone for thirty years. It's easier to imagine him as the child in this picture than to imagine him at ninety-eight. Of two things, however, I'm certain: If here were here today, his blue eyes would still be twinkling, and  he … Continue reading Billie

Vida Woodward Waller

The woman on the left in the photograph above is my father's mother, Vida Maud Woodward Waller. On the left is his father's sister, Jessie Waller Meadows. The photo was taken, I believe, sometime before 1910. Aunt Jessie lived to be nearly ninety, so I knew her well. I didn't know my grandmother. She died … Continue reading Vida Woodward Waller

…considering what you have to work with

My mother told a story about the first time she hosted Thanksgiving dinner in her own home. She'd laid out the china and the crystal and the sterling and the silver gravy boat my grandmother insisted every married woman must have (even when the married woman was going to live near an oil field where … Continue reading …considering what you have to work with