The Haircut

Puberty probably had something to do with it — that time in every person’s life when too much anti-acne cream can short-circuit the brain. I was thirteen, weighed 85 pounds, and planned to be mistaken for a supermodel one day. Just because I didn’t like the shag carpet in our den didn’t mean I didn’t choose a haircut with the …

Precious Memories

The music was different here. Unlike the staticky radio in Daddy’s Ford, this music was living and active, piercing my nine-year-old heart and energizing my soul. We didn’t just listen to the music; we sang along, from the youngest Sunbeam to the oldest member of the Brotherhood. This was the wooden church of my childhood. I knew this place well …

Mama’s Ingredient

“3/4 cup of Judges 5:25.” The first time I read this was in 1969. Printed on a torn slip of notebook paper, my Sunday School teacher gave me this assignment as I joined my mom at the door. All the way home in our ’66 Impala, I chattered about the cooking party the following Saturday. Each student in our rural …

Warm Snowballs

Holiday prep on the farm always involved the kitchen. And when you live twenty-one miles from the nearest grocer, you find stockpiling sugar, flour, and spices as traditional as evergreen, tinsel, and holly. Mama had lived through the depression, so our farmhouse had little chance of scarcity, especially during this time of year. Almost 600 square feet of its eighteen-hundred …

The Swinging Sixties

I grew up in the Swinging Sixties on a suspended wooden seat, pumping hard to kick the sky. While adults talked of riots, assassinations, and a war in Vietnam, I thought of playgrounds, Schwinn bikes, and Charles Schultz. I watched black and white episodes of Bonanza, Andy Griffith, and The Lucy Show at home despite major television companies producing them …

The Farmhouse

A good deal of my childhood was spent in a white clapboard farmhouse with grey shingles. A long concrete sidewalk drew visitors to the house between outstretched arms of elm trees and smiling faces of daisies. The raised, wooden porch welcomed as it hugged two sides of the house with sturdy pillars and a picket railing.  Granddaddy built the three-bedroom …