Building a Marriage

I was a mere 23 years old, and my wonderful future lay ahead of me as I prepared to marry the man of my dreams. He was a naval flight officer—responsible, smart, steady, driven—and a leader who pursued all the golden ideals I desired to build my exemplary life. Unaware at the time, I wanted…

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Toss and Turn

It’s 3 a.m., and I’m wide awake, tossing and turning like it’s my own signature dance move, all to the tune of grief and fear. Back and forth I spin on the deep gray sheets that prove there is no thread count that can stop my midnight moves. That tune is just too loud.  The…

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The Inner Landscape

Since our retirement seven years ago, my husband Jim and I have explored much of the United States. We have lived out of our RV for six months a year, traveling between points A and B. With each back-and-forth trek across the country, our realization grew of how much more there was to see. There…

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Unless I Had Believed

A few mornings ago, I woke with a heavy sense of dread, imbued by the nightmares that sometimes plague me. As I shuffled to the coffee pot, the clamoring needs of my children felt like alarm bells on an already fried nervous system. I was preoccupied with larger worries than “what’s for breakfast?”

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10-Cent Ice Cream Cones

In the late Sunday summer afternoons of Eastern North Dakota, the sun is already beating its way through our Ford Pinto windows and onto the black vinyl seats we are about to gingerly put our bare skin on. There are four of us who need to get into the car and, luckily, no car seats…

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Pandemic-Era Parenting

It was dinnertime on a Sunday, which means the countdown to bedtime had started a little early and was slightly more enthusiastic than normal. I had been craving cauliflower for a while, which isn’t something I’m particularly proud of, but here we were. My husband and two daughters looked on as I picked up the…

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A New Way Forward

“Where do your boys think you are right now?” my counselor asks.  I am surprised by her question, which seems out of left field. “I told them I had an appointment,” I reply. It’s vague, I’ll admit, but it’s not a lie. “What would happen if you told them the truth?” she asks, interrupting the…

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Where Did Wonder Go?

The sun is setting before the low-grade headache from another day spent on my screen fully registers. But now the muddy light of my apartment has sharpened the artificial glow of the laptop, and I can’t help but wince. Note to self: explore blue light glasses. A bit of self-awareness ushers me into my body,…

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Painting a Vision

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.”  – Billy, age 4, defining love If you were to come to a Red Tent dinner at my home, we would sit in my dining room. The table, purchased twenty years ago at…

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To Withstand One’s Own Wrath

Entering the office today, before saying hello to anyone, addressing the day’s agenda, or even putting down my bag, I internally itemized a long list of things askew. Pillows awry in room 7. Table decor down in room 3. Side table off center in room 1.  Dirty plate and to-go box in kitchen. And in…

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