The Thanksgiving Ritual

​It is an annual ritual, one that took on a slightly different look for me last year when I was too sick to do much on this, my favorite of all holidays. Instead, we sat around the kitchen table and ate on paper plates, trying to boost each other’s spirits as we critiqued the food, none of which I had cooked. It was both the best and worst of times. But as time passes, it changes things. Thankfully, I am better, stronger. And so, as I dust off the Friendly Village china that belonged to my mother-in-law, the autumn colors adding a festive touch to the table, I am overcome with emotion. I never thought I would be here again, preparing to celebrate our family’s many blessings. I am ever so gr

Being Vulnerable

As a little girl, I was delighted when my parents agreed to let me have a puppy. The first piece of advice my momma gave me was simple: “if you want to be the one the dog loves the most, feed him.” I suppose that she was trying to make certain that I would live up to my responsibilities, but it stirred something in me, and I never forgot to fill his bowl twice a day. Not ever. When we bring a pet into our lives, we make an agreement. We promise to take care of them, and they promise to love us unconditionally. It seems like a pretty fair trade. If you have a canine companion, you have witnessed gratitude in action. Dogs, particularly those who are rescued from terrible circumstances, like ou

Learning to Cha Cha

Some of my best childhood memories involve the dinner parties my parents attended on most Saturday nights. They had a close group of couple friends and everyone took turns hosting. These were semi-fancy affairs, a chance for the women to show off their culinary talents and use their wedding china. The food was always special and the laughter abundant. Among other things, there were discussions about the advantages of shaking a martini rather than stirring it as soft music played in the background. Yup, it was like a scene out of the television show "Mad Men." In those days, the kids tagged along. When we were young, we were fed early and expected to play quietly. As we grew older, we dressed

The Assignment

We tend to think that everyone sees the world as we do, don’t we? Perhaps it is ego, but we often assume that our perceptions are valid and completely aligned with others. I certainly did. So I never thought my philosophy of life to be far-fetched until I tried to explain it to folks and had a raised eyebrow or two as a result. I guess that sometimes happens when we attempt to describe what we rarely share, the personal views that we hold onto so tightly. Somehow, in the deep recesses of my mind, I have always believed in this idea, even though I can’t back it up with anything more than a strong feeling in my heart. And yes, I realize that I am off to a pretty ambiguous start here, so bef

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