When I Didn’t Bless His Heart

  My daughter, who was driving to the cabin, called while I was writing to tell me she couldn’t find the place. She'd made a wrong turn. The night was dark and the cabin deep in the country. I immediately abandoned my writing and took off in the SUV to meet her, planning for her [...]

A Harry Potter Wand that Works

Years ago, after my husband’s granddaughter was born, we went shopping for a gift. My husband, knowing little about baby clothes, stayed in Books-A-Million while I went to look at baby clothes. In Baby Gap, I heard a small voice say, "Mama, I want a Harry Potter wand that really works." Following the sound of the [...]

Phantom Dreams

When my two children were young, my husband would often leave for 3-month deployments aboard a nuclear submarine. During his absence, my children and I enjoyed the live theater, symphonies, and ballet. We read poetry, books, and attended museums. We planted flowers and had sleep-overs. And we laughed a lot. When their father and I [...]

A Mountain Thanksgiving

November. Blood Mountain. Cool. Heavenly views, steep, curving, rushing with leaves in ten thousand colors. Thanksgiving. Turkey and dressing. Sweet potato casserole. A small cabin tucked away down a winding road. Peach mimosas. Broccoli casserole. I pull on my boots and wrap in a shawl, then traipse down to visit Eleanor Exley, but she isn’t [...]