Please Don’t Make That Face

Clearly, she thought some animal had crawled under one of our seats and died there. One hard swallow away from gagging, she walked the aisle, eyes watering from the incredibly noxious smell she knew was coming from somewhere back in this area over here. I couldn’t smell anything. I looked around, and no one else appeared as if they were in any particular odorous discomfort. I watched her move, obviously in great distress, up and down the plane. Her face was killing me! I’veRead more

Will You Please Stop?

One thing that terrorists lose along the way is the ability to laugh for joy. Have you noticed that bullies can’t laugh at themselves? They are as humorless as they are cowardly, and smile only when others are frightened and in pain. The terrorist’s highest calling is to reduce life, not enjoy it. He finds no real delight in his days, except for draining the delight in the days of another’s. Men like this find their pleasure – not in beauty and excellence –Read more

Will This Be What Hell Is Like, I Wonder?

She is taking forever, and I am about to scream: how long does it take a soul to examine a head of purple cabbage? My impatience bores blackly into the back of her head. It bugs me that she is wearing a wide-brimmed hat. 1) We are safely indoors. 2) The huge brim takes up an unfair amount of public shopping space. 3) The hat radiates a mysterious ‘I-can-examine-vegetables-as-long-as-I wish’ force-field that makes everyone in the produce section uneasy. Like anRead more

A Good Dad

I was very stupid at nineteen. I was also widly self-absorbed, which, when stirred into stupid made for an unfortunate personality cocktail. In those days, my narcissistic worldview was matched by a less-than-endearing attitude that I was always on point about exactly everything. No one could tell me a thing I hadn’t thought of first. In fact, I was allergic to reasonableness, details, rules, and every kind of follow through. I was also annoyed by every little thing you did. They saidRead more

Elephant Interrupted: A story

One of my favorite adventures in this life is to canoe and camp along the Zambezi river. My father grew up under the Mopani trees in the Zambezi Valley. The banks of the great African river are his first love, and the measuring stick for every other place tasted in life – nothing will ever compare. Like my dad, this land is in also in my blood. The Zambezi is the wild stage to childhood memories full of adventure and delight.Read more

“What’s stealing your joy?”

At age twenty-six, I was hired, miraculously, as the head women’s volleyball coach at NC State University in Raleigh, NC.  During the interview, the Athletic Director asked repeatedly if I knew what I was getting into (I didn’t).  Would I really be able to handle  the many facets of a head coach position as I had exactly, uh, no experience in high-level Division I coaching? “What, Mr. Athletic Director?! Haven’t I mentioned that I’m a seasoned twenty-six-year-old?  I’ve lived longRead more

“Thoughts on Muffin Tops and Muumuus”

Summer is almost here. Can I hear an “Amen!”? I love everything about summertime, except that inevitable afternoon when I’ll have no choice but to pull down the blue Tupperware storage bin, and cringe through past seasons of stretched-out and see-through bathing suits. How is it that the seat of every swimsuit suffers pill-balls and snags? Worse, the realization that I actually wore those sad and saggy bottoms poolside and dockside – in plain view of other humans – isRead more

From our kitchen to yours: 2013

Please be warned! This is not your usual GB post…and I will understand completely if it quickly becomes your last. The sweet music and moves you are about to see and hear might just be too much for the average soul. My intent is to share with you just a snippet of what happens on a regular basis in my kitchen during dish duty, lest you ever think things in our house are too calm, spiritual, or under control. Because,Read more

“Pick up your feet!”

“Be careful!”  I yell over my shoulder. We’ve been running up and down quiet canyon trails for over fifty minutes, and for the first forty of those minutes we were graceful gazelles at sunrise. Now we are buffaloes, stampeding the canyon exit before the sun gets too high and we perish in this valley, never to be seen again, save our bleached bones. “This is the part of the run where someone always falls, because their legs are getting heavy…”  IRead more

“Those will look pretty on a grave!”

I have a friend who is a slight adrenaline junkie.  Slight, in the same way that Austin gets slightly hot in August.  I am convinced that there is not a physical endeavor that would ever beat her in a stare down.  She is audacious and wonderful. Truth be told, I’m not a thrill-seeker.  I enjoy a physical challenge as much as the next athlete, but when push comes to a real shove, I’m a fair-skinned pansy; not one of the crazies.  IRead more