Writings

Category: Stories Page 1 of 5

Making hard choices

Our Thanksgiving turkey.

Since March when words like COVID, coronavirus, social distancing, and mask wearing became part of our regular vocabulary, I’ve worked hard to try and keep my life as normal as possible. I struggle to do that now.

My hair went that way on its own

I carefully used the point of my trowel to flick away a piece of dirt from the artifact. After I had scraped enough large pieces of dirt with the trowel, I reached over to my kit and grabbed my brush. It wasn’t yet clear what the artifact was, so I gently moved the brush back and forth, clearing away the dirt to get a better sense of what I had found.

Rabbit turns 50

The last known photo of Rabbit.

My father found Rabbit in the gift shop at Horton Memorial Hospital. He took Rabbit up to my mother’s hospital room and gave Rabbit to me. He and my mother had been awake all night. I had caused them to miss the Independence Day fireworks. It seems I hated fireworks from the very beginning.

For most of my life, I’ve relied on Rabbit to help me get through the tough times, to share in the good times, and to keep my secrets.

White privilege

Police lights by night

I was driving through Minatare, Nebraska, population 816, on my way back to Scottsbluff to file a story. A Nebraska State Patrol car passed me and turned around. He flicked on his lights and sirens.

I still hope it will get better

I was finishing up for the day at the Star-Herald when I received a text message I was hoping not to get. It was from her.

“Are you sure you don’t want to do it?”

The logo shouldn’t matter

There are three things I remember about Mrs. Blustein’s 5th grade class – a politician spoke to us, Joe’s boogers, and how I learned I was really poor.

I can’t drive 55

Police lights by night

The lights appeared out of nowhere in my rear view mirror. “What the hell?” I said. I was driving through Banner County, Nebraska, which is all wide open plains. I somehow missed seeing the police car.

I looked down at my speedometer. 80 mph. That’s only five over the speed limit. I pulled my car over to the side of the road, turned my four-way flashers on, and grabbed my documents from the glove compartment.

I was returning from Cheyenne, Wyoming, where I had taken my Hyundai Accent in for a new clutch. The Accent made it 99,950 miles with its original clutch. The Hyundai dealership provided a loaner car until mine was fixed. I assumed something was wrong with the loaner car and that was why I was pulled over.

A classroom exercise secretly makes me a better writer

As a 17-year old high school senior, my English teacher, Ms. Prather, assigned me and my classmates the task of writing about our bedroom and what we saw using as many adjectives as possible. It could be real or imagined. My story was a mix of both. We were also supposed to let the details do the work – show don’t tell – through the use of metaphors and similes.

We spent a week working on the assignment before turning it in on March, 4, 1988. After working on the suggestions Ms. Prather made on my third rough draft, I was confident I would receive a good grade.

I can cook now, mostly

I’m still not sure why I was home alone that monumental day, but I had graduated from setting the table for dinner to making the meal by myself.

Brushing up on tranquility

Starr stood on the edge of the field and called to her horses. She looked left, then right, then called them again. On the third call, you could see them running toward her from a great distance. With my trusty Nikon in hand, I prepared to capture the moment. As I watched the horses, partially concealed in the tall grass, gently kicking dust up into the air, I regretted not bringing my 300mm with me and regretted more that I didn’t have an even longer lens.

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