Tag Archives: memoir

Angels by Margarita Meyendorf

Photo of pink zinnia amongst leaves

We were a half-hour drive from our destination and already thinking of the cool lake we were going to jump into and the scrumptious lunch we had packed when suddenly, my husband Miky accelerated and the connection between the gas pedal and the engine was gone. Just gone. There was nothing there. He pumped the gas pedal, but to no avail. Were we out of gas? No. He went through the gears—we had no gears. Our beloved 1991 VW Westfalia pop-up van sputtered forward in first gear for a few feet more, then in the … Continue reading Angels by Margarita Meyendorf

Weeds Don’t Weep but Gardeners Do. by Nancy Halgren

Photo of single dandelion

Diligent was the only word that could be applied to my father’s pursuit of dandelions in our front yard. Clearly Iremember him in his worn work boots, laced to the top, socks rolled down touching, and an old white t-shirt and shorts of some kind, though never cut offs. Covering his head would be an old sailor’s hat turned down like a white mushroom cap. His clip on sunglasses would cover his regular ones, and the milky colored plastic nose protector was attached to the bridge. He would be bent over with his trusty pocket … Continue reading Weeds Don’t Weep but Gardeners Do. by Nancy Halgren

There’s a Beer that Tastes Like June 1981 by Harry Lee James

Photo of fully pint of beer

Once upon a time I was a soldier living in a small town on the eastern most edge of what was known at the time as West Germany. To the East, a little over a mile away, lay a continuous line of fences, mines, walls, watch towers and enemy soldiers that stretched north and south as far as the eye could see. All of that vast array of potential violence marked the end of an old war that waited to be resumed if enough reasons and grievances could be sounded to wake it up from … Continue reading There’s a Beer that Tastes Like June 1981 by Harry Lee James

Le Francais et Moi by Miles Fowler

Photo of french flags on masts

The other day, I was watching a TV program set during World War II. An American bomber group was about to drop leaflets over Nazi-occupied territory. The French text of the leaflet appeared briefly on screen, and I hit the pause button. I got the gist of the leaflet. Maybe eighty-percent. It was something like, “It has become necessary to bomb this town. Leave immediately.” This would be terrific except that I have studied French on and off for more than sixty years. I grew up with a father who spoke French. One of his … Continue reading Le Francais et Moi by Miles Fowler

Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark

Photo of canyon under blue sky

I have a fear of heights. It is a fear of depths, too. Stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and look down? No, no matter how beautiful it may be. Sit with my legs dangling off a mountain peak? Never. I can’t even look at pictures of people doing these things without flinching. For years, I refused to look over the precipice’s edge into the world of the dying. I ran from them. I turned off the phone, been out of town. I left the room. I have said, “I’m praying for you,” … Continue reading Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark

Remedy for an Excited Amygdala by Billie Hinton

Photo of horses in the fog

On the first cold night since early last spring fog rolls onto the farm like a tide. I wake to a cloud buckling in the arena, around the barn, down the hill to where the horses eat their hay. It’s fog but my amygdala says smoke. Then, horses. Finally, fire. But they are safe, heads low as they draw strands of hay with their lips into their teeth. Jaws in circular meditation, as calming as yoga. The painted pony reaches to nose the crescent moon lying on its back along his barrel, a beacon of … Continue reading Remedy for an Excited Amygdala by Billie Hinton

Why I Loved the 8-Track by Karen Weyant

Photo of stacks of 8-track tapes

Today, we stream any song we can find, google obscure one-hit wonders, and watch anyone make their own music videos on TikTok, but back before they were delegated as punch lines to jokes about music history, we loved our 8-track tapes. The 8-track tape, a magnetic tape sound recording device enclosed in a plastic container, was popular from the late 1960s until the early 1980s. Although the quality of the sound was problematic, the protective casing was rather sturdy. Plus, 8-track tapes had the added bonus of continuous play, unlike their counterpart, the cassette, that … Continue reading Why I Loved the 8-Track by Karen Weyant

The Drowned Place by Miles Fowler

Photo of swampland

Red-wing blackbirds flew overhead, their red shoulders gleaming in the afternoon sun. The air was thick with the chirping and buzzing of wild fauna. Most of them—apart from some of the insects—fled before our canoes as we penetrated the swamp, following channels invisible to the outsider’s eye. Tall shrubs and grasses lined our channel, providing a modicum of shade against the direct rays of the sun, this vegetation caressing our crafts—and occasionally us—as we paddled in deeper and deeper. Lily pads with flowers growing from their hearts floated aside, making way for us. Frogs seated … Continue reading The Drowned Place by Miles Fowler

A Case of Spiriting by T. J. Masluk

Photo of filled dishwasher

“To Live Until . . . ” Many know the rest of the title: “We Say Good-Bye.” It is from Kübler-Ross’s well-known book about terminal patients, how some manage to live fully, how we all can learn to face death heroically and emerge like butterflies from cocoons. The day Mom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure marked a turning point: she could resign herself to the inevitable and “go gentle into that good night,” or embrace the abyss, and live purposely ’till the end. Hungarians are famously known for their melancholia, and for decades Hungary … Continue reading A Case of Spiriting by T. J. Masluk

A Very Small Adventure by Susan Shafarzek

Photo of plane flying in sky

Many, oh, many, many, years ago, a friend and I took a plane trip to Minneapolis, Minn. It was not a first flight, but it was a first time west for both of us. Our flight began in Newark, N.J. This friend believed, or professed to believe, that airplanes only stayed in the air because the passengers kept willing it to do so. Perhaps she was being facetious, but in any event, that was probably our only worry. In those days, no one searched your luggage and the rows of seats seemed not to be … Continue reading A Very Small Adventure by Susan Shafarzek