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writer, blogger, columnist

O Christmas tree

Some prefer artificial Christmas trees—their prerogative. Manufacturers have come a long way when it comes to imitation trees. I catch myself touching the needles to determine whether or not they are real. And, of course, there are conveniences to consider. One need only shop for an artificial tree every 6-8 years. Searching for a factory-made…

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Afterglow

While I waited to pay for gift bags at the dollar store, I overheard a conversation between the customer ahead of me and the cashier. Customer: “It’s going to be a cold, cold Light Up Night tonight.” Cashier: “I don’t mind. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I love the way everyone comes out…

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Can’t stop the beat

It was my turn to checkout at the grocery store. The petite, dark-haired cashier hummed as she scanned bell peppers, eggs, and pork tenderloin over the flat glass. “What are you humming,” I said. “Oh, nothing in particular, just working to the beat,” she said. “You can’t stop the beat,” I said and pressed a…

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Crash course

I’ve just completed a six-week course called, “Appreciate Your Nondominant Hand.” I did not sign up for the program. It was a crash course—in the most literal sense. I fell backward and committed a cardinal sin: I caught myself with my left hand. The not-so-graceful move resulted in a clean fracture, but a fracture nonetheless,…

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Super Scout

As the sun faded into the horizon on Memorial Day, I received a text from a friend. She sent a photo of a comment she happened to see on Facebook.  The picture showed only a couple of sentences of a conversation. It read: “Some of the inscriptions are awesome – ‘I dreamed, I soared.’ ‘Love…

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A bright light

I’ve had Shirley Westfall on my mind. When I read her obituary in the newspaper, a stream of kindergarten memories played in my head. You see, Miss Westfall and Mrs. Thelma Nutter (Cookie Cutter, Peanut Butter Window Shutter…) led my three children through kindergarten. And what a team they were. Mrs. Nutter controlled her boisterous…

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Counting to 40

I’ve been counting to 40. And let me tell you, counting to 40 is a bigger emotional investment than counting to three. Yet, I remain forever grateful to my parents for that first math lesson. Learning to count to three was key to reaching 250, 1000, and, well, 40. I lost track of how many…

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Kid Sunday

One Sunday a month, I help out with toddlers in our church nursery. Volunteering in the nursery is an important task, but my responsibilities aren’t what you’d call taxing. As part of my duties, I read aloud an abbreviated Bible story. Then, I assist the kids with a craft. If we have any additional time,…

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Disco Debbie

My friends told me about a tennis player named Debbie Disco. I did not believe them. “Debbie Disco plays for the league across town,” said one of my teammates. “I’m sure you’ve met her.” First: If I met a woman named Debbie Disco, I would not forget her. Second: I was raised by a practical…

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The Stuff that Makes us Whole

Funny how just a smell, taste, sight, sound, or a place can land us in the middle of a memory. The scent of homemade bread puts me back at the table in my grandmother’s kitchen. At the sight of a child clanging a triangle, I’m a second grader again in Miss Hatfield’s music class holding…

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