Our Kids Are Growing Up Faster in This, Our New World

It was a regular Thursday night. My youngest and I were boxing up beloved toys that she hadn’t touched in months. We were creating spaces for new projects sorely needed now that so much of our lives centered around home. Out of nowhere, my stomach began hurting. I felt hot and tingly. The thermometer confirmedContinue reading “Our Kids Are Growing Up Faster in This, Our New World”

An Attic’s Memories

This mom is itching to create a place to hold her family’s history I fondly remember the attic of my childhood. A set of wooden stairs led into a hot, cedar-smelling expanse. The steps were cluttered with cleaning supplies. I recall an ironing board hung on the wall. But once the risers dissolved into aContinue reading “An Attic’s Memories”

Learning to Listen

For Lent one year, I thought hard about what would be a true sacrifice I could make during the season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. I was a young mother at the time, staying home with my children. There were so few things that were even mine to give up. I was not eating in fancy restaurants orContinue reading “Learning to Listen”

Teens Gotta Talk … So I’m Letting Them School Me

Chillaxin’ at the dinner table with my husband, two teens and a tween goes something like this in these Corona Times: “Dude! These meatballs, though. They hit different.” “10 outta 10. Would eat again.” “Dopest dinner we’ve had all week, bruh.” And me, the English major, former newspaper copy editor and all around grammar policeContinue reading “Teens Gotta Talk … So I’m Letting Them School Me”

Behind Every Purchase, a Person

I was that early ’90s college kid who had the Think Global, Act Local bumper sticker haphazardly stuck to my dorm room door. Back then, it was a vague concept I was only beginning to grasp. Globalism itself was still early in its wide-reaching transformation of how we eat and shop and work. By the timeContinue reading “Behind Every Purchase, a Person”

Losing the Need to Win

I can easily recall the disappointment on my sweet son’s face. We were perched, him and me, at a game table by the window at a state park in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a rainy day and our plans of wandering and fishing had been shifted to play and snacks inside the visitor’sContinue reading “Losing the Need to Win”

High School Seniors, Here’s My Shoulder. Have a Big, Ugly Cry.

Dear Class of 2020: I’m writing today because sometimes when terrible things happen, it’s important to stop, and count the cost, and just cry. Of course, having the next few months of your life popped like a soap bubble is nothing compared to the tens of thousands of people who have lost their lives. ButContinue reading “High School Seniors, Here’s My Shoulder. Have a Big, Ugly Cry.”

To Connect is Human

Two weeks ago, I was in a retirement community in Eastern North Carolina, celebrating the long life of my mother-in-law. After a lovely funeral Mass, the family lined up to hear the kind words of those who knew her. We were instructed not to shake hands or hug. We could lean in, bump elbows, smile.Continue reading “To Connect is Human”

Finding My Path

Six years ago next month, my first newspaper feature in more than a decade was printed in The Roanoke Times. That story marked the beginning of a new chapter in my life, one where I would attempt to add a career in writing to the swirl of raising three kids and eating local food and volunteering in my community.Continue reading “Finding My Path”