Brighter than Noonday

I couldn’t have been more than five. The television in my uncle and aunt’s small den that was sitting upon a wooden chest was much taller than I. I sank into the dark sofa in the room that was only lit by the television. My aunt, like a fairy godmother, brought treats throughout the movie and then would quietly exit the room. I slowly walked up to the screen with a cup that felt cold, a spoon handle stuck out from inside the cup, as I tried to see what I had been tasting for the last couple of minutes. It was green. Like the face of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz. Small speckles of chocolate chips were swirled and dotted throughout. It was ice cream, mint chocolate chip. It became a favorite from then on.

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4,000 Breakfasts

A friend of mine is the perfect example of calm. She is the epitome of kind. Gracefulness and gentleness are akin to her as most are to inhaling and exhaling. I’ve seen little rattle her. A sweet spirit that is slow to judge, quick to love, and ever available if you need a friend. So when the day came that she told me she was struggling with her children I was curious. I always knew she was human, but wondered sometimes if her ethereal nature could be ruffled by something completely normal as, well, children. She continued to explain that anger, a short temper, was her nemesis. A nemesis that was new and completely uncharacteristic. As she gave examples I tried not to giggle at the reality that anyone in her place would likely act the same way, if not more extreme, but to her this was a challenge of perseverance in parenting.

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Christmas Poinsettia

I was barely five years old and the brick steps in her garage were high. The railing was of little help to my short arms as I balanced from step to step behind my mother. As soon as we entered the kitchen the warm smell of a boiling chicken in a pot on the stove met my round face. My cheeks flushed pink with the sound of her voice, “Good morning Charity Ann…” I shyly tucked behind my mother’s hip, peeking around to my Nannie, my mother’s mother. She was at her usual spot at the stove stirring and checking. She was midway through her workday at 9am, as she often rose before the sun to read her Bible. A farm girl from Franklin, Virginia, she knew the importance of home cooking and hard work. She was equal magic and intimidation.

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“Too”

Exploration involves a level of risk. In the unknown there is chance for something greater. History shows that exploration often pays off, but not without sacrifice. Ryder will tell you that the Settlers in Jamestown took a great risk coming to a New World – between the excessive mosquito population that attempted to devour them upon landing in the muddy creeks of Virginia and their ill-prepared packing (shoes over adequate food? These were men no less!).

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Hormonal Trees

Vivid reds, oranges, yellows and vibrant hues between. The leave’s bright green suits are shed to reveal true colors come autumn. The reception is a glorious wonder. Pops of color race by as we travel through town. Neighborhoods are littered with golden dazzling ovals skipping down the sidewalks hand-in-hand with the wind. Ryder asks, “Why do leaves fall when it gets cold?”

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