manners

Manners? Are they essential anymore?  Yes, they are crucial. They aren’t just rigid social rules reserved for the privileged or the wealthy. Manners are more than just knowing not to slurp coffee from your saucer or not to blow your nose with your dinner napkin. In our modern world, chaos (think Opioid crisis) and violence…

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failure

  Writers often receive these dreaded things called a rejection slip for a book, a poem, or an article One of my favorite authors, Madeleine L’Engle laments that “Every rejection slip—and you could paper walls with my rejection slips—was like the rejection of me.”  I can relate.  Writers might spend hours weaving the perfect nouns…

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teach writing

I am going to let you in on a secret.  Writing is hard, even for people who do it for a living.  The getting going is the toughest part of writing.  Writer R. Crumb laments, “getting started is like getting a rocket off the ground.  You need the most energy and the most push to…

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family Life

Family life is like a Smith Island cake. For generations, the women of Smith Island have mastered the art of the Smith Island cake. They skillfully assemble 8-10 layers of paper-thin buttery bliss to create a towered architectural wonder swathed in cooked, fudge frosting.  Even the most experienced, dexterous Smith Island bakers find themselves routinely…

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sleepovers

  Sleepovers are woven into the fabric of American childhood.  In today’s world, an invite to a sleepover may likely outrank the wonderment and anticipation of waiting for the tooth fairy. Writing an article about the inherent dangers of sleepovers is as popular as pillaging honey pots from Winnie-the-Pooh.  Why would I try to discredit…

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storms of life

I have a great reverence for deep bodies of water.  Not long ago, we took a Saturday excursion by boat to remote and deserted Watts Island, a mile-long sliver of land nestled in the Tangier Sound of Virginia.  The monotonous hum of the outboard motor mixed with the taste of salt water from the spray…

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perfect mother syndrome

Before entering the mommy arena, I unpacked baggage from my childhood and wrestled it to the floor. Then I carefully repacked the baggage and affectionately renamed them “experiences.”  I devoured every parenting book in print, or so it seemed, feeding my insatiable appetite for mommy knowledge.  My misguided quest to be the perfect mom, eventually,…

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