Price fixing

A kid walks into the barbershop. It’s an old-fashioned, family-run place at the northern edge of Atlanta. Early evening on a weekday, it’s busy. Full of professional guys – consultants, techies, marketing men. I’m waiting while Tom gets his hair cut. The boy’s pudgy, a little bit country. He has thick hair and a square … read more Price fixing

Yes, “thing” is an actual word

I was happily writing away on my iPad and typed the sentence, “That isn’t a bad thing.” A word suggestion popped up: “thang.” You read that right. Autocorrect suggested a facetious mispronunciation to replace an actual word. There’s my proof – the featured image above is an unaltered screen shot. I really couldn’t believe it. Then I … read more Yes, “thing” is an actual word

Where there’s smoke

The Appalachians are on fire. I am on my hands and knees, collecting documents that are irreplaceable before we evacuate. I’m fighting to think straight, control the panic. Acrid smoke has been hanging around our mountain community for days now, chased by strong winds from the wildfires in western North Carolina and northwest Georgia. The Rough Ridge … read more Where there’s smoke

The bed’s too big

When we’re staying here in the rental house, I think of Joni Mitchell’s song “My Old Man“: But when he’s gone, me and those lonesome blues collide, the bed’s too big, the frying pan’s too wide… Even when my old man’s here, the bed’s too big. And too wide. Because it’s a king, not a queen. … read more The bed’s too big

A birthday like no other

It’s getting so late. They were driving from Dulles and they should have been here by 7 p.m. Tom and I hardly know what to do with ourselves while we wait. This meeting has been more than five months in the making: Tom’s biological father, Richard, and sister, Danielle. Richard’s cousin Susan in England, our initial … read more A birthday like no other

What the drought hath wrought

The first summer after I transplanted a black cohosh to the hillside above the cabin, I was so worried about its need for shade that I suspended a baby blanket over it with bungee cords. Then halfway through the summer I realized that I was also keeping some of the rain from reaching the plant, … read more What the drought hath wrought