Run the Mile You're in

My sister always provides Runnerly Wisdom for me. Today she reminds me not to dwell on the past or focus too much on the future. "Run the mile you're in," she says ....more

Two Hard-to-Believe Bible Verses That Make All the Difference

As you know, I'm always in some sort of existential crisis. I am! I really am ....more

A Time Gone By: Bulletin Boards

My oldest daughter cries out, "Oh, I wish we could go back to a time before iPods!" We were watching a documentary about the little lake community where her grandparents have a home. In the 1940's, this exact same spot teemed with teenagers who gathered at the Marina to check out the bulletin board to find out what was going on. My daughter was seeing photos of a social spot where she stood herself just a few hours before ....more

The Only Time I've Loved "Very" In a Sentence

I teach writers to scratch words like very, really, seriously, and totally from their writing....more

Don't Turn Around Yet

When you cook and then wash dishes for a huge extended family, you find that as soon as you're certain you're finished, you find a dirty pot there and a stray glass here. Worse, you clean one side of the kitchen only to turn around and remember all the dirty pans on the stove behind you. It's an old joke around here that the one washing dishes always asked, "Can I turn around yet?" If the others called out, "No!" it meant that the stove side wasn't clean and they had more dishes to bring to the sink ....more

Slow No Wake

Did you know that the "Slow No Wake" signs on a lake mean that within those boundaries your motorized water vehicle must move at the slowest speed possible while still maintaining steering control and forward motion?...more

Good Distractions are Still Distractions

The pastor in a small church on a lake I visited this morning preached about letting our light shine so that our lives glorify God....more

As All Great Tales Should

Here's what happened: a turtle surfaced on the lake. She started as a turtle the size of a quarter, green and black, with the sun glinting off her back. Later, as we remember her honestly, ...more

Hope for the Uprooted

I love hearing all about local history, especially in this big Southern family I find myself a part of by marriage. When you meet people who've been in the same place since the Revolutionary War, you just have to ask for stories, and they'll offer them up like sweet garden pickles from the jar.You'll hear about times before running water and flush toilets, about tobacco fields and what used to be right there in that field that's now something else. A golden thread the color of sweet tea connects everyone to everyone else in little towns where people remember when the bank started (great, great granddaddy) or when the railroad tracks were placed (right up near the house) or when a certain road came into being that's the last name of your family on your grandmother's side.It's so rooted, so tightly stitched together like the quilts on the bed grandma made herself, that I wonder what that must feel like for my daughters ....more

All the Forms it Takes

My husband arrives home with a little bag from a bookstore that he dangles in front of me like fishing bait as I drop cookie dough onto the baking sheet. ...more