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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Good Night, Good Dog

Today was pretty much the Mondayest Monday in the history of Mondays. Today, we put our thirteen-year-old Brittany, Jester, down. Mr. Man and I put a lot of research into choosing what would be our family dog after having lived with Jack, pretty much the perfect cocker spaniel. We wanted something a little bigger, with a similar happy disposition, good looks, smarts, and just a bit different...
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Life in Three Words

Ah, New Year’s Day—that one day of the year designed for self-flagellation and list-making and vows and whatnot designed to make us all 21st-century Bionic Men and Women (“We can rebuild her…we have the technology…”). It’s exhausting. It’s demoralizing. It’s abusive in its own twisted way. Is it any wonder so many resolutions fail before January...
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A Look Back

As usual, I began 2013 with all kinds of positive energy and ended up limping to the finish line. It wasn’t a failure of a year, but I didn’t take the world by storm, either (not that it was on my list). As a teacher, I’m always asking my students to reflect on their work so that they can chart a pathway to improvement. In that spirit, here’s how 2013 went for me: GREAT...
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Fear Not

Anyone who grew up when I did learned to love the Charlie Brown Christmas special. We talk about Charlie Brown trees at the lot, those poor things that are more stick than needles. We know all the words to “Christmas Time Is Here.” We know exactly how awful pink aluminum Christmas trees are, no matter what today’s fashionable magazines tell us is “on trend.” But the...
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