Dad's Type of Entertainment

Dad's Type of Entertainment
“Do you remember asking me about Santa Claus?” my dad asked. Dad sat in his favorite, green chair, and I had pulled up a chair next to him in the living room of his apartment in the retirement home where he lived. He had lived to an old age, and our...
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Life is Messy

                                                                   Sacred Messes I sighed at what a mess my life was in, and these thoughts intruded.”Life is messy. Birth, death, everything in between, it’s all messy. If it isn’t messy, it ain’t life.”  “Can I use these finger paints?” My young daughter had asked. We were in someone else’s house,...
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Signs of Spring

In springtime I step quietly as I stroll along the shores of the lake near my house. But it seems no matter how silent my step, the spring peepers know I’m there and stop peeping. If I am patient and stand still, however, soon enough they resume the chorus, a sure...
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Confessions of a Picky Eater

I have a confession to make: I am a picky eater. Now, this will come as no surprise to those who live with me, but grownups are supposed to act, well, grown up. And one of the things grownups are not supposed to do is be picky about food. It simply...
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A glimpse of my grandmother, Po'Lady

A glimpse of my grandmother, Po'Lady
My grandmother, Em Turner Merritt Nickinson, with her three children, Betty, the oldest, Ted, far right and Em, my mother, as a toddler. My grandmother, Em Turner Merritt Nickinson, was not your typical grandmother by any stretch of the imagination. When my family came to Pensacola each summer for a two...
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Memories of my parent's wedding

Memories of my parent's wedding
Sorting through family papers recently, I came across two separate newspaper clippings that described my parent’s wedding in 1949. I was first struck by how detailed the reports were, in contrast to what might get into the newspaper these days. Secondly I was impressed that both articles, apparently by different people,...
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Bowls

Bowls
My grandfather loved to work in his shop repairing antique furniture and creating new things on his lathe. My aunt told me about walking into his shop one day; the radio was on and he was listening to opera. “How can you listen to that?” she asked. “Oh, but if you...
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Caution: Composting in Progress

“Do you have a compost pile?” the man on the phone asked me. I thought this was odd—a survey about composting? Buying time, I responded, “Excuse me?” The disembodied voice repeated the question, then, for clarification explained, “It’s your neighbor.” Ah, the man who lived behind the wall, next door to...
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Wishing for a Ditch

I wrote this story for  my dad in his words several years before he died. Reading it again brings back memories of time we spent visiting together, both in person and during our daily phone calls. I can still hear his voice and the pleasure he received in recalling this, and...
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When a bird falls...

There’s a dead bird in my freezer: a woodpecker, to be exact, Downy, female, just a slight young thing that thought my sliding glass door was something to fly through. She must have hit the glass full tilt. By the time I noticed her on my back steps she was on...
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"The tears won't come."

We’re going under the water now; I’ve got you.”  The words "I've got you" seemed a bit superfluous, the little girl was clinging to me, her swimming iunstructor, like a leech. She began protesting—loudly. “That’s good,” I commented. “But when you’re  underwater, you’ll need to close your mouth. You can cry as much...
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Learning to Play

Learning to Play   “You should come down and play Scrabble with me some evening when your kids are away,” she urged. “It’s easy. I’ll teach you.”   I had never been one to play with words. Read, yes, but I never did crosswords, jumbles, or any other puzzles that required...
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Just one more piece...

“Well? What do you think?” Mom prodded. Dad chewed thoughtfully on a bite of the pecan pie (his favorite) that my mother, his young bride, had baked specially for him. It was her first attempt at pie baking. With little cooking experience, Mom was eager to please, and anything but confident....
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