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  • “Got Milk?” a ritual for communication and transition
    2/22/2020 This week, I received the much anticipated announcement that, once again, I was “not selected” as the winner of the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. I don’t feel too badly because every year that I lose (and it has been many, many years) it is to some of the finest writers and humorists I have the pleasure of reading.
    Also, I am secretly happy when the announcement is made, and my essay is free to publish elsewhere. It makes for an easy week as a newspaper columnist.
  • Stories of motherhood and of courage
    2/15/2020 “Do you have a story you can share about motherhood,” she asked. I almost laughed. Do I have stories? I’ve been a mother for nearly twenty-eight-years. I’ve mothered five children, a menagerie of pets, and an ex-husband. I’ve got stories.
    Like that time I walked into the kitchen, and my eight-year-old son was dangling a snake across the breakfast table to show his sisters.
    Me (as calmly as possible): “Son, please take the snake outside.”
    Son: “Why?”
    Me: “Because it’s a snake. In the house.”
  • Better to have loved and lost at a bridge full of memories
    2/8/2020 Sometimes, when I am out and about, I realize that I am not quite ready to go home. I need to find some stillness within myself before jumping back into the midst of the household.
    My vehicle has always been my safe place to think, feel, and just generally let my heart and mind wander in whatever direction they feel compelled.
    This morning, after dropping the kids at school, I realized today was one of those “need to get to the bottom of this emotion” sort of days. I wasn’t entirely sure what the emotion was, but I knew with enough driving, I would figure it out. So, I aimlessly drove through town and along back roads while I pondered.
  • If we grieved for all of them, we could never live
    2/1/2020 I was nine when Candy died. She was the first person I knew with a terminal illness. In my child’s mind, it seemed like she lived for a very long time after her diagnosis, but in reality, she was taken within a few short months.
    My mom met her through the Temple Wives Association. We had moved to Tennessee a few months prior, so my dad could pursue ministerial studies at Temple College. My young, twenty-eight-year-old mother joined TWA in an attempt to make friends.
  • Looks like Ginger’s going to make it after all
    1/17/2020 Tuesday morning I will be starting the next leg of my life’s journey. A new job in downtown Indianapolis! For years, I have dreamed of working downtown, probably due to the influences of Marlo Thomas and Mary Tyler Moore.
    As a little girl, living in Pittsboro, Indiana (population 867), I was enthralled with the television shows depicting single women leaving small towns to make their way in the big city.
  • Making the most of my unplanned vacation
    1/11/2020 It was a typical Friday the 13th. My favorite bracelet broke in three places, a bank glitch prevented me from accessing money, I got pulled over by a cop, my coffee order was wrong, and then I got fired.
    I managed to stay fairly calm during the unexpected, and wholly unwarranted firing process, but once I left the office, all bets were off. I asked my fella to meet at a local pub, and over beers, and through my tears, I poured it all out.
  • Ginger looks at backside of 50 . . . figuratively AND literally
    1/4/2020 Journal Entry
    December 20th, 2019
    Morning of my fiftieth birthday
    I am spending three days in a cabin, secluded on thirty acres. I planned to spend my time in solitude and reflection, culminating in a rebirthing ceremony at the exact time of my birth.
  • Ginger goes back to dawn of the ’80, ahead to ‘20s
    12/28/2019 New Year’s Eve 1979, I had just turned ten-years-old. Even at that young age, it felt extremely significant to observe the dawn of a new decade. I wanted to make sure I never forgot the exact moment that it became “the eighties.”
    For Christmas, my great-grandmother had given me a pink, ceramic clock fashioned in the form of a little girl wearing a sunbonnet. At 11:30 p.m., I took the clock from my bedside and carried it to the dining room table.
  • Ginger heard the bells on Christmas day
    12/21/2019 I heard the bells on Christmas Day
    Their old familiar carols play
    And wild and sweet
    The words repeat
    Of Peace on earth, good-will to men
  • When Christmas gets real
    12/7/2019 On Sunday afternoon, I bought a new Christmas tree. I’d like to say we spent the day at the tree farm, trudging across the acres, waiting expectantly for the perfect tree to wave his branches and say, “Here I am! Choose me!”
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