The Lee Legacy

What is it they say to parents when their children marry? You’re not losing a daughter, you are gaining a son. Or, you’re not losing a son, you are gaining a daughter. I may not have it word for word, but I’m close. In my family, that statement has proved true, so far anyway. My…

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I am a natural disaster

“Look! You are a tropical storm!” That’s the random text I received from my daughter Kristen. I’ve been called a lot of things over the years—bossy, stubborn, generous—but never, as in ever, has anyone referred to me as a tropical storm. I suppose that, when I’m in a foul mood, I exhibit a few stormy…

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Notable notes

When I finish a good read, I avoid turning to another book right away. Instead, I’ll turn to short stories, essays, or poetry. This week, I picked up one of my volumes of Letters of Note. Lifting the hardback copyis no easy feat. It’s a book that doubles for a barbell. It’s the size of a…

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Goodbye Hollywood

The Academy for Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced new inclusion and diversity rules that will take full effect in 2024. Films that fail to meet at least two of the four new guidelines won’t even qualify for an Academy Award nomination, much less take home the coveted Oscar. Before I proceed, an explanation is…

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Awesome and Awful

Once upon a time, someone loaded my very first brand-new washer and dryer onto the back of a box truck. While waiting for the delivery, I glanced out the windows over and over. My heart pounded in anticipation of receiving two new appliances designed with the latest technology. Then, my excitement dawned a sudden realization.…

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Five cardinal rules

The Lorena Bobbitt story hit media outlets in 1993. You remember Lorena. A victim of domestic abuse, she took revenge by cutting off her husband’s, well, use a search engine if you don’t know the rest of the story. The Bobbitt news hit airwaves as Gary drove our first-grade daughter Jordan to school. “Daddy,” said…

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Heinz-57 Female

Our kids gave us ancestry kits for our anniversary. Each box contained Q-tips and tiny test tubes.  The miniature test tubes contained some sort of magical liquid meant to preserve our cheek cells. We swabbed the inside of our cheeks and dropped the Q-tips into the test tubes. Then, Gary and I sent our precious…

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Blueberries & ice cream

The recent fiery temperatures didn’t keep me from heading to the West Virginia hills to pick fresh berries. Nor did it stop my mother. We didn’t scavenge in the mountains for wild blueberry bushes. We drove to the peak of Bunners Ridge where lush green treetops mingle with the deep blue sky. There, the bushes…

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A subtle symphony

At my castle in the woods above the lake, a whistling bird bids me good morning. She trills a 30-second solo from outside my open windows. Then, as if on cue, her peer-chorus chimes in. Each bird lifts its own warble or twitter, its chirp or caw. I can’t say that they harmonize in a…

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Melon madness

On his way out the door to the grocery store, I asked my husband to pick up a watermelon. “Bring home a good one,” I said. A “good” watermelon is sweet and red. Gary knows how to find one. I taught him what my brother Gerald taught me. Look for battle scars on its rind…

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