Agricultural lessons and liberty

The summer day I saw Granny walking down her Appalachian alley, swinging a hen by its feet, the head dangling back and forth, I knew we’d find fried chicken on her supper table. Discreet in her butchering and processing, my sisters and I never discovered where she...

The scent of rainfall

Iris Harkins, the only other Iris in our large church congregation, often sat behind my family of five during Sunday’s worship service. A friendly woman with a British accent, early on she said her husband Frank gathered with our pastors on the platform. Reverend...

The full moon reminds me

Moonlight cast mullion shadows upon my bedroom floor. The Man in the Moon had sneaked up on me again. Thirty-one years sleeping in the same place, I’ve learned lunar cycles from my southward view. Yet, somehow I’d lost track of the moon’s waxing and waning. “No...

Magnolia memories and revelations

“I can’t wait for the Magnolia Fair,” cousin Kathy said every summer of our childhood. I could only imagine the fair, for I’d never seen it. Each summer vacation to Kentucky, those two words provoked a hope that this would be the year I’d walk the fair with Kathy....

Forsythia season

I rise before dawn and drive south. The spring sunrise glows upon daffodils and forsythia along Rochester Road. I recall this golden hope in a season of grief while en route to my eight o’clock class at Oakland University. Twenty-six years later, forsythia blooms in...