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Running for Soaring Wings Ranch

It’s an early Saturday October morning in Arkansas. I stayed overnight with my sister in Conway. Now I’m heading toward downtown Little Rock (30 minutes away) for the Poetry Day Event. I’ve been dreading the traffic on I-40 since I awakened. The house is quiet when I open the front door leading to my car. This is an easy-traffic street across from a golf course, not far from a college. People use it as a cut-through street, avoiding red lights and congestion. Sounds of talking and laughter when I open the door. I am stunned by what I see: runners and walkers as far as my eyes can see. Like a train without end. I walk to the street and call out, “Who are you guys?” “Soaring Wings. We are runn

Happiness Runs After Him

I woke up to the smell of coffee. Then he handed a cup to me. I did nothing to deserve sharing a coffee with him. Just what we do. My husband. He. is. kind. Because of his kindness, I think, happiness runs after him. A bit about him: His father died at 74. My husband turned 74 this summer. And he is highly awake to his age. Over the last year, he has made several comments about turning 74. It’s like an undercurrent popping out of different conversations from time to time. How do other people get through that strange year? The year men turn the age when their dad died or women turning the age when their mom died. The way my husband is coping may be by going back to work. After having visited

Suffering and Love

I’m circling like a buzzard in a parking lot at a funeral home. I need a place with plenty of space. (I have depth perception issues.) My pastor invites me to park behind him. Instant relief. I get out of the car and a young woman approaches, greeting me with a hug. The granddaughter of the one who has passed away. She feels like family and guides me through the crowd, introducing me to her grandfather. I view the body, hug the teenage daughter sniffling at the casket, find friends, and take a seat. My eyes stay on the daughter, who hangs around the casket. It’s as though she does not want to leave her mother who had a massive heart attack and died. I know the girl, not the mother. The girl

A Man Named Bill

Harps Supermarket, Calico Rock, Arkansas. After putting groceries in the car, my husband (a detail man) notices a man slightly bent in front of the store shuffling his groceries from five plastic bags to a backpack. I suggest we sit in the parking lot and watch, just to see what he does. We see no bike, no car. In tired jeans and plaid shirt, he lights up a cigarette. My husband pulls the car up to where the man is. I know what is coming, so I say, “Please have him get rid of the cigarette first.” I read two phrases on the backpack: "Jesus” and “John 3:16.” “How far you walking with your pack?” my husband asks. He stops struggling with the strap. He looks at my husband and says, “Oh, not far

Power Outage

Scheduled power outage happened on Monday. Helpful that we’d been forewarned by an automated phone call. Outage to happen between 8 a.m. and noon. Our local electric company would be replacing a pole that would affect our valley. The power went off at 8:15. Kindness. Lights went out and refrigerator stopped humming. No noise. Even the birds grew still and silent. We drank in the hush for an hour. see a neighbor, we came across a couple talking in a stalled truck. They were looking for property for sale. My husband popped out of the truck and walked the property line with them. He could have been a realtor. I turned down the invite and stayed put with a book. After a short visit with the neig

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