The Best Christmas Eve Ever--Part Two

The Christmas Eve house tour ended up back in the kitchen. “So every room has a fireplace and a Christmas tree?”            “Just about.”            “And nativities,” I said. “Do you collect them?”            “We do.” She picked up a carved manger scene and placed it in my hand....more

The Best Christmas Eve Ever--Part One

It was snowing for real now. Cottonballs from the sky. I sprinted over to Dart Drug for a bag of kitty litter—emergency traction for the car, just in case. Back at the apartment I filled my Jazzercise water bottle and grabbed a Snickers bar—emergency sustenance for my stomach, just in case....more

The Gift Gap

(Guest Post by Catherine Whitworth, MPA)Some time ago, my husband Steve and I served as Peace Corps volunteers in the enchanting Central American country ofGuatemala.  It is often said that Peace Corps volunteers gain more than they contribute in the countries where they live and work.  Some of the most important lessons I have learned in my life were from the children ofGuatemala.  One child, Maria, who visited us frequently, taught me the true meaning of giving.   Maria was 12 years old when we met.  She was ...more

Prelude to the Best Christmas Eve Ever

It was a Christmas Eve in the 80s, my first one after college.  My roommate had headed home for the holidays at noon—his home beingMoundsville,West Virginia.  My boyfriend would celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes with his family that night, then he'd get up early the next morning and drive three hours, probably way too fast, so we could be together before noon on Christmas Day.               Around six that evening, I wiggled into my winter coat.  Slipped my feet into duck boots whic...more

The Worst Christmas Ever

I knew I was in trouble when my husband questioned the pile of packages by the front door.             “I have a good excuse,” I said.             One of his eyebrows arched. “Really?”             Both of my eyebrows went up. “Really,” I said....more
Do we have the same mother? My Mom goes wild at Christmas!more

Time with Ann

I must slow time. Or I will lose it. This a woman with twice my children tells me. And a three letter name to my five.             “What?” I say. “I don’t just pray, ‘Teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom?’”             “Well,” she says, “that and  “  She pats the grass beside her. Leans back against the tree’s trunk. I lower myself. Pluck a violet....more

The Silver Hurricane

(Also known as, Things Ann Voskamp Prompted Me to Say)   . For decades of days I have sensed the presence of a marvel waiting to be. A silver tornado. Twisting, hovering. At the edge of my existence.   What epithets have I been called? None. You can’t say I’m a failure. Because I never tried. I shroud myself in recycling, laundry, and recipes. Whisper the lie. This is all there is. It’s not all. But it is easier....more


I know some think he’s awful. That he’ll probably go to hell. After all, he says there is no such place. Insists there’s no way, no how a loving God would condemn all naysayers to languish in the lake of fire ever more. Proves his point with plucked phrases like "He desires none to perish” and “He’s making all things new.” Etcetera.             Let me tell you something. God can do anything. Use anyone. For his purposes....more

Wonder Woman Was My Best Friend

So there we were. Me and my best friend, Katie Lynn. Waiting in line to get into Spanky’s, the fancy new dance bar on Fourth Avenue. Per usual, we were decked out. In  mini skirts and high heels.Kenthad done our hair that day. Mine was so short it looked like a baby bird’s. Katie Lynn’s hair resembled Billy Idol’s in the front, except it was almost black, not white. But in the back it hung in waves almost to her bra strap....more
Shoulda mentioned her step dad was a Green Beret:)more

Bat Attack

A crash of thunder destroyed my dream. It was a good one too. About a Kentucky Derby where the cast members of Gilligan’s Islandwere the jockeys. I scootched to the end of my bed and pressed my nose to the window. No rain? Then how—             “Bats! Bats! To arms! To arms!” All three of my brothers sounded the alarm in unison. I heard the thunder noise again. Oh, it’s just them. On the stairs.             I almost went back to sleep....more