Archive | October, 2011

Christians and Halloween

Olivia Newport All Saints Day

My daughter, a college student, had an assignment where she had to pretend to mediate between two families in a church. One family was throwing an all-out Halloween bash. Costumes, scary decorations, food, eery sound effects. Another family believed Halloween was evil and thought the pastor should not-so-gently correct the first family for their choice […]

Mama Says #4

Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

I think my mom is fairly spry for 85. I have some nerve issues in my feet that sometimes make me slower than she is. But I notice that she has learned to stand up and give herself a few seconds to feel secure before tearing across the house. Her advice? “Don’t fall. That’s my […]

Why I Love Old Newspapers

stacked newspapers

I suppose we’ve all heard about the person who stacks up newspapers from floor to ceiling, intending to read them someday. (Pull your toes in if I’m stepping on them.) Newspapers are fighting for survival. The thirst for information is still there. In fact, it’s exponentially more enormous. But the way people quench their thirst […]

Mama Says #3

Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

When I went to spend three weeks with my mother last summer, she had not been to church in a few weeks. So we went. She loves the music at her church. She loves the preaching. She loves all the elements of the worship service. But she doesn’t drive, and for various reasons her attendance […]

Would You Time Travel If You Could?

Recreation of John Deere's blacksmith shop

Some of my favorite museums are the small local ones scattered on the map. For instance: That historic house a founding family occupied. Or the home of the person who gave the town its fifteen minutes of fame. The isolated ranch house of a pioneer. A few years ago, I saw where John Deere lived […]

My Feet Hurt. Who Cares?

10-12-11 feet in a pile

Last spring I showed up at a doctor’s appointment with a two-page document entitled, “The Story of My Feet.” I’m a novelist, so I told a story. I was there because my blood pressure was up. But before the doctor (with whom I have a positive relationship) threw more meds at the symptom, I wanted […]

Mama Says #2

Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

My brother looks after the shopping for my mom. If she has a hankering for something, she writes it on the scrap of paper at the corner of the counter and voila, it appears. When I was visiting with her, she decided to come to the grocery store with me. We were nearly ready to […]

Columbus: Good Guy or Bad?

10-10-11 Columbus coin

If you’re anywhere near my age bracket, you grew up thinking Christopher Columbus was about the bravest, most adventurous person who ever lived. He discovered a new world, after all. If you’re younger than I am, you may have learned little more sophisticated view of history. It turns out the new world was there all […]

A Chapter Called Hannah

ballerina and toddler

When my daughter was in later elementary school, Hannah was her best friend. Hannah ate at our table. Hannah slept at our house. Hannah went to church with us. For a couple of years, the two girls found every excuse possible to be together. Then Hannah’s mother remarried and moved to the other side of […]

Mama Says #1

Mom and Tag - Olivia Newport

I spent three weeks with my mom this last summer, just the two of us in her house in Florida. She said a lot of things I was glad to hear—sometimes hilarious, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes sentimental. The first one was,  “I’m 85, and I intend to be 95.”   Generally she’s well in physical health and attitude. Why […]