The Steps of Indoctrination

“The best protection any woman can have is courage.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1. Initiation When I was in sixth grade, either God or genetics saw fit to gift me with the most developed body of any girl in the school. I didn’t think much about it, having the mind of a child, but I…

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Embracing the Maiden

There was one Halloween in elementary school when I dressed up as a bride. I had a long white dress and a lace veil covering my face, though nothing about my costume could cover the beauty I felt while walking down the concrete aisle to every front door in my neighborhood, building myself a candy…

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Revisiting

As she spoke of wedding plans, her eyebrows drew together, lines becoming visible on her young face. I watched the weight of exhaustion sweep over her, pulling her shoulders forward. She sighed. It is clear she is in love with her partner. He is absolutely smitten and she is equally adoring of him. I had…

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Scrolling Through Time

One of the first pictures I posted to Instagram was of a smashed banana with googly eyes. I believe the caption said, “Look what I found on my pillow. I squashed it. #evil #friends.” How absurd. That was pure, authentic, youthful Haley right there. I keep scrolling to find more pictures from my college years—pictures…

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Turning the Page

In and out of my purse it goes. Here and there in my home it moves. Shiny black cover, spiral bound, carrying my “life” inside of it. As I moved into the elementary school years of my kids two decades ago, I began to tote this “August-to-August” pal. The style of an At-a-Glance weekly planner…

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What Will You Make This New Year?

It’s a cozy, quiet Sunday morning. I type near the Christmas tree, a sleeping pup curled at my feet and a YouTube fire flickering noiselessly on my TV because my apartment doesn’t have a fireplace. Outside, the world glistens, covered in its first true blanket of snow. These Midwest mornings, the ones that stretch from…

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To My Love

To my Love during this holiday season, You look down at your belly and place your hand gently on the slight natural curve. You wonder, What happened? What did I do? Why is there no baby inside?  You breathe a deep sigh, which leads to a release of salty water welling up in your eyes,…

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Puzzled

We bought the first puzzle near the beginning of the pandemic. We have never been a game-playing family; we’ve been cordially busy with our own individual interests. Then we bought a jigsaw puzzle. We waited weeks to receive the first one because of a COVID puzzle shortage. Of course.

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Keeping Time

I turned 60 a few days ago. How about that? Sixty. 21,900 days. I am likely about 2/3 the way through my imagined years. I don’t often think about measuring time, but significant birthdays have a way of making more obvious the ways we keep our time. As friends and family called to celebrate with…

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The Mystery of Marriage

Lovemaking is the sensual offer of goodness to our partner, but when we think of the word “lover,” it seems to immediately connote sex. What happens before and after sex often sets the parameters of what degree of pleasure will last after an orgasm. How little I understood the mystery of marriage during my first months of…

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