Be a Camellia

Last month, my oldest friend Kathryn said goodbye to her mother. It was a hard goodbye after weeks of hospitals, frustration, and medical shortcomings, and Kathryn and her father will be dealing with the raw scar of pain for a very long time. Andrea Hickman White was an honest to goodness force of nature. She was married for more than fifty years to her high school sweetheart, Ken. She loved her...
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Bears With Furniture

One problem with living in a creative family is the amount of stuff we all tend to accumulate. When Mr. Man decided he wanted to play guitar, the Yamaha acoustic cutaway was soon joined by five electrics and Frick’s Squier jazz bass and Martin dreadnought. We have piles of movies and video games, boxes of art supplies, and yarns for both knitting and needlepoint. We’re all readers,...
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A House Is Not a Home

In February of 1976, after several years of living in the Carolinas and a memorable year or so in the midwest (a foreign country to my Southern sensibilities), my family finally moved permanently to Florida. We left our house in Westerville, OH and drove through a sleet storm until we crossed the bridge across the Ohio River into Covington, KY. The sun broke through the clouds for just a moment,...
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Nesting Instinct

Our Carolina wrens are back! A couple of years ago, we noticed a patch of thready Spanish moss in our brass mailbox. The door latch on the box isn’t that tight, so it was hanging down. We thought the moss must have blown in there (we’d had some spring storms) and didn’t think much of it. At least, we didn’t until more things showed up in the box: leaves, withered potato...
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Cast Iron Chronicles: Rescue

Despite growing up in a very Southern household, I never developed an affinity for cast iron cookware. (Don’t revoke my Southern card just yet.) My mother, like many women who married in the ’60s, received a full set of Revere Ware, so most of my childhood kitchen memories involve copper-bottomed steel rather than iron. My grandmothers used iron in the usual ways–to fry chicken...
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