The Sum of a Life

I stand in the back and fidget, waiting my turn to address my ninety-year-old grandmother at a celebration in her honor. She sits up front and center – poised and gorgeous – in a cool, celadon suit. Blessed with Norwegian blue eyes, silver hair, and flawless skin, the woman is breathtaking. I sweat and grow splotchy (how elegant) groping for words that will sum up a lifetime of inner and outer beauty: How best to honor such an influence in a two-minute verbalRead more

A String of Pearls

Be the person you want your child to be. We all know what a good parent acts like, what she sounds like, even if we didn’t have one. Let’s act and speak like that. We want our children to use their words to build others up. How then do we need to speak? It’s important that they are truthful, always, and full of grace. How then do we live? We hope our children will see those who feel invisible, and that theirRead more

Are You Stark Raving Mad?

The people of southern Maryland are not immediately delighted with me. This has been hard to handle, I admit.  Because everyone in Texas generally thinks everyone else is pretty awesome. There are always exceptions, but Texans are typically a warm and open people.  They smile at strangers and mean it.  They stop what they are doing to talk (and talk, and talk). Most folks in the lone star state are able to look up, hold eye-contact pleasantly, ask follow-up questions,Read more