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Of Sicilians and Songs

Buried high inside a wooden cupboard, we find it. “Alley” by Carl Campbell, Creative Commons cc license  A dusty cardboard box with black marker states “Tapes for Car Trips.”  And the music for our family’s road trips stands shoulder to shoulder, encased in black plastic cassette tapes labeled with my Dad’s handwriting. Pink Floyd, Dire…

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Of Cancers and Suicide and Where to Find Joy that Sustains

In noisy bustling houses, we’ve poured more coffee and settled in close. Photo Credit: Ell Brown, Creative Commons cc license In a sunken living room last night at a friend’s house, I pushed my grey footstool closer and we talked of kids, of this last year, and of the future. Pulling photographs from her purse,…

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Dear John MacArthur, You Chose Wrongly, my Brother

Dear John MacArthur, You chose wrongly, my brother. Your Two-Word answer should have been, “A sister.” Photo credit to Grace Church I understand that maybe you answered impulsively, and that now, hopefully, you are regretting it. I found your email address online, and I wanted to contact you directly. You are my brother in Jesus,…

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Dance Parties and the Dean

“Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Portraits” by Chiara Tovazzi is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 It was after the dance party. After I had shown him black and white television footage of timeless classic dance songs, and I had danced wildly around the green carpeted living room. He had curled up in a black and white zebra blanket while I showed…

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“I Smell my Brother in the House”

I like how he said it. Right between math problems and sitting beside the open window, he said it. “I smell John in the house. I smell my brother.” I stopped, smiled and took in a deep breath, wondering what my twenty-four year old smelled like to my eleven year old. Familiar fragrances of french…

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Rockets, September, and How to Successfully Soar This Year

At first it just looked like an empty field. Two dogs and a couple walked the corner of a barren soccer field. There were no rockets in sight.  “Hmm, I thought it was here,” I murmured to Daniel, checking my phone and the address again. “I’ll call Mark to get Art’s number.”  And then, just…

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Signs We Wish We’d Made (& A Great Way to Go Deeper this Year)

Sandy summer shoes scuffed behind me. A hallway-away a locker clanged shut and echoed across tiled floors. On the right a faculty bathroom was available and I slipped in, closing the door behind me. I stared at the signs and then laughed, thankful for its warnings. And isn’t that the truth? In addition to wanting…

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God Speaks Russian

We stood, seven people in a circle, holding hands at the top of our stairs. Chic bobbed hair Svetlana, gentle-eyed Sergei, blue-eyed Marco, and I, with our kids interspersed beside us: soft-spoken family clown Daniel with his deep compassionate heart, and sweet blonde Nadia and Julia, with their big smiles and husky Russian accents. We…

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Holding Summer’s Light as the Sky Turns to Grey

Huge rain rushes in from yesterday’s ninety-degree heat. A grey storm outside turns the sky green. Hot French Press coffee and an Indie band crooning in multi-part harmony set a reflective tone. Halfway through this new journal, the stitching threads line the notebook crease, a straight hem through paper. Halfway through the summer, the season’s…

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Of Dragons and Gauntlets

He walked in with an orange bearded dragon on his shoulder. The college-student stood at the coffee shop counter, ordering a pastry and a drink, and his lizard perched beside him. Minutes later as he prepared to leave, two women in yoga pants and headbands approached him, their phones out. “Is he real? Can we…

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