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The Task of Time Warps

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

World Trade Center memorial

(I post this on the anniversary of a terrible day in US history. September 11th is a painful, tragic, excruciating anniversary of horrible deeds that murdered many. Let us hold in our hearts all of the complexity of that day for a quiet moment before I launch into my own very different musings on the time-warp-ed-ness of memories.)

 

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My oldest child turned 40 this year. What astounds me about this is that I can remember in exquisite detail her infant and toddler years and those of her younger brothers. It’s like my brain has become a … not sure what the current technology would be for it, but back in the day it was called a roll-a-dex. Pull out one random card, and I can remember vividly episodes from their childhoods … and my own. I keep accumulating years and memories which is, of course, so much better than the alternative! But what am I supposed to do with all of these seemingly random visits from times gone by?

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flight

By Precy Larkins

flight the years stole away my feathered wings day by day purple-tinted barbs break off from the rachis, the once fiery-gold vane withering in pain but then you came and the azure gust you brought with you remembers my name your words coax downy white feathers to warm up an old, achy soul, make it …

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To Toss or to Keep: Haiku on Decluttering

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

 

Since last March I have been sorting and culling through my belongings. This is primarily because of selling a home and moving after decades of accumulating “stuff.” Systematically trying to see what “sparks joy” also sparks ennui, longing, regret, trepidation and sometimes laughter. It’s enough to drive a person crazy. It’s a stark face off with childhood naivety and the realities of years of life’s complexities. It ties you to generations back in time and makes you wonder about the next generations for whom artifacts pale in comparison to digital records and thumb drives.

It is necessary. It is brutal. It is wrenching.

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SEASONS of Salted Perspectives

By Teresa Bruce

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? — Matthew 5:13 *** The grey sky drizzled and, despite my umbrella, an hour after I’d greeted a friend for lunch, my clothes preserved dampness against my skin. I didn’t have time for this detour, …

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Thanksgiving Mayhem, Christmas Chaos, and Other Cherished Memories

By Jessie Christensen

On the night before Thanksgiving two years ago I woke up suddenly to the sound of vomiting. My three-year-old had come down with the stomach bug that had hit my other children earlier in the month. Unfortunately we were at my parents’ house for the holiday and I had not packed many extra clothes. I spent the rest of the night tending to her as best I could, quietly searching the crowded house for extra towels and blankets to keep the mess contained without waking up anyone else and spoiling their holiday too. By the time the sun came up, my poor daughter was only wearing a t-shirt and was lying on the floor swaddled in a large bath towel. I spent Thanksgiving morning catatonic on the couch watching Disney cartoons with my daughter while my mom cooked the entire meal herself. I didn’t even enjoy the feast that year because I was too tired and the smell of food was nauseating (thankfully I escaped the illness myself).

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A chicken named Herman and other favorites…

By Melonie Cannon

Today something special happened to me. I made time for my friend. It is not something that I tend to do, but I am learning. We went to lunch and as I watched her tender face light up while she explained a short story she was working on, I wanted to hold the moment- just …

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Favorite Words!

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

kumquatsAt a recent writer’s conference, the presenter asked us to write down five of our favorite words. This is a challenge best done quickly without a lot of overthinking. So quick, right now – what are five of YOUR favorite words? You’ve got one minute.

…Tick, tick, tick, tick… Time’s up!

Here are the five I came up with – and why.

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Sensibility

By Kellie Purcill

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The coast is clear. I shove the closest book I’m reading down the back of my Fraggle Rock undies and heave myself up into the tree. Don’t look down, scurry around so the trunk is between me and the front door slamming open then FREEZE! while my sister looks for me, evil-eyed and discontent. She never looks up, we never see eye to eye, she sought my destruction and I hunted out wherever she wasn’t. Being eight is a tough gig.

Finally, higher than the roof of the house, suspended and hidden in the middle of the front yard, I pull out the book from my ever saggy underwear, and settle in to read.  My family say I read too much, that I need to go out and get fresh air, so I’ve learnt to hide my papery friends and climb fast. The tree leaves neon yellow stains under my fingernails in the warmer months, the boisterous red autumn colours camouflage me in autumn, and I’m left bereft like a forgotten scrap of tinsel in its naked arms in winter. When I’m told to go to my happy place, for real or in my head, I’m up a tree, wrapped in leaves, licking library stamp ink and sap off my fingers before I turn a page.

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Eulogy for a Car

By Sandra Clark

View from the unwashed passenger window on the night of our last drive.

Last night realizing time was short we quickly piled the kids and an impromptu picnic into our eighteen year old sun-bleached blue Honda civic.  Never turn in a car with extra fuel in the tank, we thought. So Sunday evening drive we must.  We drive west in near silence, chasing the sunset through miles of fields and orchards. Unidentifiable greens erupt from the soil phasing in, bare walnut tree silhouettes fading out. The end of one era and the necessary beginning of another. Funny, I thought we hoped we could drive the car figuratively into the ground; it will be literal instead. You can check my review here to know more about our car.

The car coughs, rattles, clanks and vibrates, straining to go and go and go as it always has. Perhaps this inanimate object of a family member is somehow imbued with the knowledge that this really the end; its replacement has already taken over the garage. It’s just a car, and not even a fancy one, but it’s feels like a loss letting it go. 

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There Are Monsters in My Office

By Kellie Purcill

Specific things I avoid:

  1. Drying plastic containers by hand (they can drip dry)
  2. Bees (allergic)
  3. Shaving my legs (hellooo Autumn!)
  4. The two mailing boxes in my office

Oh, the boxes look innocent enough, all fluffy-cornered from the multiple moves I’ve dragged them through over the past six years, held together with packing tape and stubbornness. Those two boxes, though, (each no longer and higher than hand to elbow) are crammed to bursting with monsters. Monsters lurking in between the photos of my oldest son learning to ride a bike, monsters nibbling on the edges of the pictures of my youngest dancing in the backyard, monsters stuffed into every frame, every spare gasp of air, wrapped around every memory sleeping in the boxes. Memories have vicious teeth, and if I open those boxes I’m going to get mauled.

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