My Grandmother’s Hair

My Grandmother’s Hair

My Grandmother Sherrill's hair was exactly 51 inches long and the color of fine silver. Every night she performed the same ritual -- brushing out her hair. It was a task that took her exactly thirty minutes. As a child, I observed grandma's ceremonial tradition with a reverent fascination that, to this day, knows no equal. It was one of few intimate moments I shared with my mother's mother, who … Read more...

Write It Down

Write it down. Write how it feels to fly away.

"Write it down," grandma said, as we the freed lightning bugs from the mason jar. "Write down in your heart, how it feels to fly away." I know how it feels to fly away from home. But sometimes I want to go back. Writing this memoir is the magic carpet that will take me there ... back home to the Blue Ridge. I recall a moment long ago when my life was so full and free that I trembled at the … Read more...

What I Learned From Captain Picard

What I Learned From Captain Picard

What I learned from Captain Picard - the main hero of Star Trek: The Next Generation - should have been easy. All I needed was three simple words. If you're a kindred Sci-Fi soul, maybe some of those Next Generation episodes shook you to the core the way the did me ... especially if they involved The Borg. (If you're not a big Sci Fi fan, stay right where you are ... there's still some … Read more...

The Day The Green Eyed Monster Entered The Classroom

It was the perfect opportunity ... And just as it had planned, The Green Eyed Monster smiled ... slithered under Mrs. Smith's desk ... and waited.

The day the Green Eyed Monster entered the classroom was the same day my mother, Shirley, made her first appearance as a Grade Mother. I should clarify -- right here and now -- that Mom was one of four Grade Mothers for Mrs. Smith's first grade class. The Green Eyed Monster was not. In fact, no one seemed to notice that The Green Eyed Monster was a regular visitor at West Lenoir Elementary. … Read more...

What Is Meaner Than The Green Eyed Monster?

I could feel their resentment as clearly as if they had all crawled inside my stomach and knotted it up with a rubber band

What is meaner than the Green Eyed Monster? I'll tell you ... A Clique of Green Eyed Monsters. As I mentioned in my last post, The Green Eyed Monster is really quite clever. You won't even know the monster is there until it's already snatched up a soul or two. Both Mom and Mrs. Smith were unaware that it was in the classroom. Come to think of it, I don't think anyone sensed its presence … Read more...

What Does Real Really Mean?

"They were real ugly," she'd say. "Real ugly boots. But they were all I had to wear."

What does REAL really mean to you? Back in the 1950's the kids I knew used the word real all the time. Mostly, real was our chosen word for something that was either original or the absolute truth. You could have a really good day or a really bad day. You watched The Mickey Mouse Club on a real black and white TV. And if word spread that a party at Rhonda's house was gonna to be real … Read more...

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