We work our way next through a scruffy zone of ironweed, oxeye daisies and Queen Anne’s lace, then plunge to shade under trees, passing through a smattering of jewelweed, poison ivy and monkey flower. Then, at last, in deep shade, we come to water . . . Continue Reading

Standing on the edge of the road and looking up and down the hill, there really was no road. Just debris and rubble, with no viable means of transportation. Many of the buildings on either side of the road were damaged. No water in sight. To me, it looked like a war zone. The street had been . . . Continue Reading

The state of Tennessee condemned the Elkmont summer cabins asserting eminent domain over the use of the land. Summer families fought back, and a deal was struck. They could stay if . . . Continue Reading

Annabel was tough, and she did not take prisoners. No excuses for failure to complete assignments were accepted. If a person was still drawing breath into their body, had blood coursing through their veins, and was still warm, they had darn well better have done their homework, or a browbeating ensued. She required book reports every two weeks. I remember vividly . . . Continue Reading

I keep Great-Aunt Bonnie’s sewing box tucked away in a closet. Mama gave it to me long ago after Bonnie died. It isn’t really a box at all, but a big Christmas cookie tin . . . Continue Reading

As a graduate student in the 1970s and college English instructor in the 1980s, I could scarcely ignore the tempestuous currents spawned by the literary and cultural movement known as Deconstruction. The brain child of contemporary French philosopher Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction challenged decades of academia’s approach to understanding literature. Deconstructionists argued that culture itself was a text. As such, the movement’s adherents assumed that . . . Continue Reading

Founded in 2009, SEEED, or Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development, is an exceptionally designed non-profit with a mission to help young people find a way out of poverty. Their story is so unique because SEEED is an entirely local grown organization, cultivated from concerns about housing costs, high utility bills, and gun violence. These issues, paired with the fact that few real opportunities exist out there for youths to succeed and excel, prompted SEEED to start digging for a solution.Continue Reading

At the age of 28, tired of bouncing from job to job . . . I opted to go back to school for a nursing degree.  Once the transferable credits were applied from my B.A. in psychology, I could finish the program in only two and a half years.  I just had one problem—I was broke.Continue Reading

I wish everyone a belated Happy New Year! I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and warm. In East Tennessee, 2024 has come roaring through like a mad badger, bringing with it a snowstorm I hadn’t experienced since I was a child. My mind hearkens to winters in the holler. We were essentially trapped for weeks at a time back in the beautiful dark places, where mountains hide the sun so that it barely glints across the valley, let alone the backroads burdened with ice under snow under ice under snow.Continue Reading