The Bird Who Owns Church Street

My mother, a farm girl, was more interested in chickens than birds. But she loved robins and always commented: "They might not be beauties to most people, but they're nice. There's a politeness about them." Then came her next bird observation: "They're not like those awful blue jays, always making a racket and barging in."…

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Stepping Stones

Because I'm a writer, I can sift through details to make the story end however I like. Therefore, I made my previous post, "A Toad, A Turkey, and a Ton of Sandstone" sound delightful. I skipped over the middle. It didn't show me in the best possible light, a dark place not suitable for my…

Decoration Day

In Milan, the whole community rallies for Memorial Day. The Edison High School Marching Band lines up in the town square. Baton twirlers, scout troops, and veterans. Fire trucks and police cars with whirling lights. Eager children on bikes decorated in red, white, and blue. The whistle blasts. They're off, parading to the cemetery for…

Handholders

When we moved to Milan, Ohio, two years ago, a terrific high school boy, Connor, began mowing and trimming our yard. He's not reluctant to tackle any chore. He even joined Cliff for fence painting on summer mornings when he didn't have football practice. My mother would have called Conner workified, significant praise from her.…

One Prayer

Prayer has never been my go-to position. To me, it seems like a desperate last-ditch effort to get something or to avoid something. Like making a wish, blowing out birthday candles, and expecting life to change easily. But I found myself in that last-ditch-effort position once. Like most couples, Cliff and I wanted to be…

Eagle Sundays

It started out simply enough. On a Huron County run for Meals on Wheels last March, Cliff's supervisor pointed to an eagle's nest in a towering oak beside a rushing creek. She'd watched families come and go for three years and said another one was on the nest. That nest was a deep stack of…

Fourth Grade: Truth with Candy

Fourth grade was everything at Sherman School in Middletown, Ohio. My friend Carla and I were equal parts excited and scared. Fourth grade heralded The Introduction to the Fountain Pen, a momentous step into adulthood in a 1950s curriculum. Fourth grade also meant moving to the new building that housed the big kids and a…