I Went Home to Teach, and It’s Okay

I come from an accomplished family. My mother and father have done well for themselves. My brother’s a doctor, and my sister’s in environmental science. It’s the kind of family in which there’s an unspoken expectation of concrete careers and a certain prestige.

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If Wild Is Free

I have a black-and-white photo of my grandmother from the 1940s that I treasure. She’s dressed in pants and a flannel, kneeling in the grasses of an Oklahoma prairie, focused on something ahead. Balanced on her shoulder is a rifle of some sort. Her hair is short and curled, messy from the breeze. And though…

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Wild Winnie

As a military wife who moved frequently, I attended many churches. I am also a Pharisee and a people-pleaser, so I gravitated towards women like me—those who recognized and approved good works. Every church has those who give and those who take, and I found satisfaction in being someone who gave more than I took.

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Where the Orange Blossoms Are

Very few of my grandmother’s possessions survived the devastating fire that destroyed her clapboard home well after her eightieth birthday: four dining room chairs, a side table, and her front porch rocker. I am reminded how fortunate I am that two unique treasures of hers made their way into my hands. One she had already…

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Doorway to a Forgotten Land

My breath came in short, labored bursts, reflecting the intensity of the circuit workout my friend and I were making our way through. I told her I’d begun “hiking” on the treadmill set at a steep incline, practicing for the mountain hikes on the itinerary for an upcoming trip as couples to celebrate our friends’…

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The Gift of Gold

There is a photo I love that my daughter took on a southern beach several years ago. Brown curls float around my freckled face in the sea breeze. Sitting in the sand and gazing toward the horizon, I watch salmon and burgundy-colored clouds float to position for the sunset. Golden hour lights fine lines and…

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Gospel Wild

I was driving on a road that normally takes two minutes; it took me forty to reach my destination. I thought that there had been a car accident because I could see a car angled and a few people hugging on the side of the road. Caught in this gridlock, I sat in my car.…

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It’s 2 a.m.

It’s 2 a.m. The limbs of the trees outside my window are moving in the wind; the sound of the leaves rustling a bit is agitating. I can’t stop my thoughts, one after another, all in a similar vein, and none of them productive.  “Did I have caffeine after 2 p.m.?” “Are these hot flashes…

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Counting Steps on the Cliff

The sun dances across my lap. The old Honda’s engine revs and releases around the curves of Lake Crescent. Turquoise waters on my right shimmer clearly against the evergreens next to its shore. I count the logs cast aside into the lake’s bottomless waters. Just past the upcoming campground we will take a hard right…

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