• Heart

    Gratefulness in the Grief of 2020.

    Their chair is vacant. Or maybe crazy Uncle Charlie has staked his claim on it—the place your loved one normally occupied at the table during holiday dinners. You thought you overcame the sorrow of the loss, because you’ve stopped looking for them in crowds or for their number on your ringing phone. But it’s the holidays. On top of that it’s 2020. The holiday season has a way of bringing that old familiar pain around again; especially if it’s the first without them. What happens if you find your holiday season robbed of joy by grief? How do you find gratefulness in the grief of 2020. The Lesson I Learned:  I’ve…

  • Heart,  Writing

    The Sound of Silence

    The Chesapeake Bay fueled my terror of lightning. One afternoon, a dark shadow hung over my Daddy’s boat before a bright flash bounced off a crab pot, and a sharp pain sliced through my arm as it hung over the side of the boat. For years after, Momma closed all the doors to the bedrooms and sat with me in the hallway during lightning storms. We leaned against her record/stereo player that we had to turn sideways to scoot around. Simon and Garfunkel, Motown greats, James Taylor, John Denver—whichever she was in the mood for that afternoon—drowned out the thunder. Today, I heard again a remake of Simon and Garfunkel’s…

  • Heart,  Writing

    Finding Peace in the Pandemic

    Preparing the Heart: My boys are restless. I feel their bottled energy as they slug around the house with that wild look in their eyes as if they hear war drums in the distance but are forced in their barracks unable to join comrades in battle. My hunter runs off to hunt the woods daily. My fisherman runs off to catch those bass in the pond. My youngest son runs between the two. They’re biding their time in quarantine as best they can. Meanwhile, beyond the farm fences, out there in the real-world, there’s a dangerous invader whose sticky barbs have infected every aspect of our lives. The enemy loves…