He gave up his hippie acreage with gardens to move into the middle of the city with me and mychildren. There he planted tulips and tomatoes anew. When the kids were grown and we movedfrom house to apartment, he grew kale in raised beds on the rooftop and raspberries andpumpkins in the country. He spent…

For months I knew it would arrive, and now it has. It would be special, sad, and I wasn’t sure what else. Now that September’s here, I escape my procrastination at looking.  It’s my month of many anniversaries. The major milestones and markers of my life’s journey make a list that includes:  Became a lawyer   Became a mother …

She reached for a second tissue. “Sorry about all the tears,” she said. Some people pour their morning joe for a pick me up. I go for my Megan. Our always steady and ready office manager Megan isn’t ruffled by a crashed computer or an overflowing toilet. Still, on this morning, she dabbed the tiny silver ring in her nose as the drops kept falling.  It was Lily’s first day at a…

Choosing to be alone for days is not an obvious extrovert choice. Yet for over a decade I’ve taken a solo annual retreat. I don’t go far, but I do go away from home where I am tempted by the dazzling distractions of unorganized drawers and the unfinished anything. My yearly ritual is usually in…

Maybe you have one. Your “Go-To Spirit Lifter.” Joyce is mine. When my mind was a mess, Joyce listened with the same compassion she’d give to a 7-year-old at the elementary school where she was a counselor. Her infectious laugh leaves you wondering why you ever thought you had something to cry about. Just before…

Sometime before the sunlight snuck around the sides of the bedroom shades a delicious sounding summer rain began to fall. The darkness told me I need not rush out from under the comfort of my cotton quilt.  I listened.  I fell back to sleep with the peace of knowing the purple clematis would get her daily drink without me. The back yard’s newly sewn grass seeds would be grateful, too.  At…

That June was the last time he left home. It was the start of the slowest of the slow summer seasons of my life.  Hospice was happening. It was his last time he went down the stairs until he went without his spirit in a black zippered bag.  That June was a decade ago. It had been 11 years since the delivery of the grim cancer…

The smell of cigarette smoke rose off the paper bag wrapped tightly at the top.  Tucked alongside the brown glass quart of Falstaff beer were a half dozen Snicker bars—enough for the six of the eight of us kids still living at home. A true pay day delight. Reading Father’s Day tributes, I’m compelled to…

Nobody mentioned the hundreds of innocent people murdered by angry mobs. No one spoke of the 35 blocks burned to the ground within 24 hours or of the fleeing of tens of thousands left homeless. Oklahomans didn’t know their history. I was a 17 when I traveled to Tulsa. A group of Omahans charged with…

“The governor’s office is line two for you.” My heart pounded.   Once again someone not the governor had the chore of telling the unchosen prior to the press release that said it wasn’t you.  I’d applied to be a juvenile court judge. I detailed my career accomplishments, got glowing references, and confidently answered questions before the judicial nominating commission of nine. They advanced my name on the short list of the qualified. I travelled to the state capitol to interview with…

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