Oh, Deer

I recorded a Field Note that was aired on Montana Public Radio. Here’s the link: Oh, Deer

Bub

Bub’s not really his name. My daughter named him Tristan when she adopted the tiny kitten left in a cardboard box outside of a veterinarian office. He lived with Jen in her Nashville apartment for a year but came with her when she moved back home. It was a difficult adjustment for all of us. We had an older cat, Daisy, and a huge dog, Prince, who reigned in our home. Tristan stuck close to Jen until a year later when she moved across country. That’s when he homed in on me. He had to keep his distance, though, sleeping at the foot of my bed, far from Daisy’s place on my pillow. That is, when Prince would allow him to pass through my bedroom door. Tristan was low man on the totem pole. And how did he get the name Bub? Jen referred to him as Bub when...

Stories of Life

One of my stories has been included in the anthology Bones & Blue Eyes and Other Stories of Life, now available online at storiesoflife.net.

Contented, Though Demented

This story was just published on pulsevoices.org. Here’s the link: Contented, Though Demented

The Usual Delay

I delay my mammogram every year. In the past, two of them have shown microcalcifications, tiny indicators of cancer. Why would I give anyone opportunity to detect those again? So, I drag my feet at mammogram time, waiting months after getting a reminder letter before scheduling. Instead of an annual test, I end up biannual. I finally got it done last month, only to live in limbo awaiting results, wondering if another lumpectomy loomed in my future should specks be detected. Perhaps more radiation. Would I take any action? I’m nearly 68, older than I ever expected to be, so why not let it run its course? Que sera, sera.  But the report finally came: an all clear, thank You, God. Maybe if I’m still around in two years, I’ll revisit that machine. Allowing, of...

Cry of the River Birch

I pass it each day on my walk, the lone river birch planted in the slender strip of grass between street and sidewalk. Too close to the walkway, its branches threaten my face so I move to the furthest edge to avoid being poked in the eye. But I don’t mind. Living things need space to grow. We give a little here and there to live peaceably, to coexist. One morning, I see a branch has been broken, snapped so it no longer reaches the sidewalk. A threat removed. In saving ourselves, we hurt others. And I wonder, is it worth the cost, This price of fear? The birch now bare as if crying its loss, tearful dew falling from the broken limb. A tear I match with my...

NO!

There was a red Jeep sitting near the power lines, an out-of-the-way place apart from the houses in the neighborhood. I was walking Prince when I noticed it—and knew to be wary since it was an unfamiliar vehicle. The car’s windows were down and as I drew closer, I could see a guy sitting in the driver’s seat. An alarm rang in my head, telling me to be alert. I held the dog’s leash firmly, positioned him on my side closest to the car, took a deep breath and picked up speed as I began to pass. Then I heard his voice. “Hey, good-looking!” My blood turned to ice and I readied myself to get into defensive stance. The Rape Aggression Defense class (RAD) I took at the local police department taught me to do exactly that. I had practiced for years and now it looked as if...