Grow Light

It had been weeks since the last time it was warm enough to walk—a relative statement since it was only twenty degrees outside. I discovered my boots leaked while I walked along Leeward Drive. I stepped around slush puddles as best I could. My cheeks and nose tingled from the cold. Today the sun had [Read More...]

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Father’s Hands

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The love of greenhousing began when I was very young. I remember being carried on my mother’s hip along a cobble-stoned path that ran the length of the greenhouses—my family had an acre under glass. We walked through the warm and humid houses, past benches of colorful flowers. I would breathe an air unpolluted by cigarette [Read More...]

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Fire Too Close

The siren was close. The main road I live on, Berry, intersects with Meridian three hundred feet east of my drive. It’s not unusual to hear the siren of ambulances or police cars. Sitting at my desk I tried to determine the direction of the sound. It had stopped near my house. Not good…not good [Read More...]

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Lasers and Light

The furnace barely kept up. It ran almost constantly on Sunday as winter winds blew and made the awnings shudder and groan. The kettle of chicken-vegetable soup simmered. Rice, carrots, and celery gently rolled to the top as I stood beside the stove and contemplatively watched the gentle bubbling. The steam incensed the kitchen—and all [Read More...]

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Driven to Humility

The audience had applauded with enthusiasm after the presenter’s slide show. The gardening program left the attendees buzzing and eager to put into practice what they had learned. With skill the presenter pulled questions from the boisterous crowd and interjected humor in her answers. She was a renowned horticulturalist and landscape designer, and everyone knew [Read More...]

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Suffering Succotash Mother!

She preferred to be called Mother Bailey. She was a stately Scottish woman; tall and handsome with wild blonde-gray hair that no matter how desperately she tried to secure it, frizzed and blew in all directions. Her eyes were a steely-blue and reminded me of thin ice over a lake. Much like her homeland she [Read More...]

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Be Still and Shovel

cupcake snow

Restless and awake through the night, in bed under layers of quilts, I listed to the sleeping dog’s whimpering barks. The cat had realized that the dog’s sleep and my wakefulness was an opportunity for undisturbed cuddles. She chortled softly as she walked around the foot of the bed. She placed her front paws on [Read More...]

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Intimacy of a Name

She was a full-bodied woman and reminded me of Oprah, as Sophia, in the Color Purple. Her one eye watered and drooped much the same as that character. Her walk was a shambling gait of exhaustion. Her niece had brought her shopping for clothes. The three of us exchanged niceties among the racks of plus-size [Read More...]

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Snow and Falling

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Sitting in my oratory, I finished the Salve Regina prayer. I then looked from the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe out the window at a gray winter’s morning. I felt heavy that morning, down, and I didn’t know why. Kissing the blue millefiori rosary in my hand, I returned it to the porcelain dish, [Read More...]

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Rubbish with Attitude

I find November to be a transitional month—not quite past autumn and not yet winter. Skies are often filled with heavy dark-gray clouds that suddenly open into glorious sunlight, illuminating yellow leaves. The business of outdoor activities is ending, and the bustle of holiday celebrations is waiting to begin. This is the month when nature [Read More...]

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