No hazy nostalgia with my first car

Some people’s memories of their first car are glazed with sugar, like candy apples at the county fair. It is just one species of nostalgia, I guess. A few of my classmates actually did drive cool cars, including some twins who shared a black Trans Am that was the envy of every teenage boy who had seen Burt Reynolds driving one in “Smoky and the Bandit,” which played for about 80 consecutive weekends at the Twin Oaks drive-in theater.

Coming full circle as a cat owner

Growing up, my family had an abundance of cats running amok. These were the days before spaying and neutering were common occurrences. We all know what happens when there’s no protection against the passions of nature, so inevitably we had a feline family much bigger than our own. 

Each time a litter was born, we would keep a few kittens and give others away to neighbors or friends. I remember my sister and I feeding many a kitten with a medicine dropper, making cozy beds for them out of Avon boxes and towels, and nursing those with parasites back to health. She and I also created a pet cemetery in the woods behind our house where we would hold a memorial service and bury the cats or kittens that passed on. 

Thoughts on water and traditions during the holiday

Are you a lake person or a beach person? I always thought I was a beach person, but now I’m not so sure. 

I’ve written about my childhood beach trips before and with it being July Fourth week, nostalgia is more paramount than ever. As a little girl, Independence Days were always, always spent at Ocean Lakes Campground in Surfside Beach, just south of Myrtle. 

After the shock, and the pain, life goes on

It has been about eight months since my stepfather died. My mother has been talking about getting her house in order for a while, but now she has reached the point of putting her thoughts into action. The question is what to keep, what to sell, what to pass on to the kin, what to donate, what to burn, and what to take to the landfill. We are outside, taking a brief and informal inventory. Plus, it’s the second day of summer and nice out, so it is just good to walk off a breakfast of pancakes and bacon with a little time in the sun.

Cherokee tribes condemn family separations

The three Cherokee tribes joined voices last week to decry the recent surge of family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Sense of time and place resonates throughout this novel

Sometimes a writer so imaginatively recreates a place and a people that the book becomes a time machine, sweeping us into the past so effectively that when we finish reading the last page we feel as if we truly have breathed the air of a different century.

In If The Creek Don’t Rise (Sourcebooks, 2017, 305 pages), Leah Weiss takes on one such ride into the recent past.

The party’s in there, and we’re out here

My wife and I are introverts who pretend to be extroverts, both personally and professionally, which means that we are the kind of people who plan a party, and then immediately regret it once the invitations are sent.  

Summer break is coming into view

Watching my two little boys get excited about summer vacation makes me reflect upon my own childhood summers. Both my parents were teachers, so the countdown to that last day of school was a significant family event. 

It’s prom, and my daughter is trying on adulthood

My daughter has become the person she hoped she would be at age seven. We should all be so lucky.

“When I was seven, I had a vision of my junior year in high school,” she said. “I wanted a car, a boyfriend and a nice dress for the prom.”

Moms, remember to breathe it all in

Last week, I went to a conference in L.A. with 800 other moms who tell their stories through creative outlets, whether it be blogging, writing, photography, video or social media. Flying out on Wednesday, I was feeling significant mom guilt about leaving my boys and indulging in a conference in sunny California. 

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