photo by Melissa Askew in Unsplash

Reflections on a father’s 80th birthday in heaven

Who knew that my health fanatic father who would not allow me or my siblings to eat sugar or drink soda, except on a birthday or holiday, and who would drink the spinach water from the cooked spinach for its nutrient value, and who had us take all sorts of vitamins, for which I’m grateful, and who exercised regularly would die so young, just a month shy of his 59th birthday? Who of us knows when our time will come?

I just listened to an excellent talk by American spiritual author Caroline Myss entitled “I Almost Didn’t Live to See…

Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash

How to receive your heart’s desire

I drive a short distance in the mornings to a charming 1760 inn that is now a restaurant and events venue. I leave the car at the back of the ample parking area, empty at that time of day, to enjoy walking the country roads in the vicinity.

As I start on my stroll, I pass a quaint yellow house circa the same time period. A large garden with rows of flowers and vegetables line the side yard. And I always admire the giant zinnias when in bloom in front of the house. …

What I learned from ‘the mask argument’

Image by Shutterbug75 from Pixabay

The mango lady taught me the most important lesson of the pandemic.

No, it wasn’t about the best masks to wear or the ideal hand sanitizer with the correct percentage of alcohol or how to Zoom with breakout rooms. It was something even more significant, something we all know but sometimes forget.

Entrance: The Supermarket

It was summertime and the supermarket scene was down pat: mask, wipes for the handle of the cart, alcohol spray for my hands, reusable and newly washed grocery bags, a safe distance from others. You get the drill.

I was on a quest for a mango. It had…

Looking back on twelve weeks with The 1619 Project

Photo by Frances Gunn on Unsplash

I looked forward to finishing my coursework with The 1619 Project. I savored the sense of satisfaction with the completion of a goal and a noteworthy one at that. I also hoped to free up some additional reading and writing time. However, the end of this coursework became the beginning of what I will call real work. What do we do with this knowledge?

Some Background

What is The 1619 Project? The headnote from the online series reads:

The 1619 Project is an ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning…

The spaghetti squash incident and surviving the unexpected

Photo by Linden72 on Pixabay

Hiss. The oven is sending out an SOS. I open the door to see the spaghetti squash, which I bake whole, dripping some liquid from its insides onto the bottom of the oven. This has never happened before. I must have overcooked it. Oh well. Lesson learned for future endeavors: always cook the squash in a pan.

I grab some oven mitts and slide the hot cylindrical mass off the rack and onto a plate. I’m going to have a mess to clean up when this oven cools, I think to myself as I shut the door and turn it…

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

All things both great and small

I spied a butterfly sitting on my deck. I went to look closer and saw it struggle, unable to take off. Was it hurt or just stunned from a crash landing, perhaps? I dribble a little water from the watering can nearby in case it’s thirsty. It sidesteps away.

Then I pick a red geranium flower from a potted plant within reach and lay it next to the sweet creature in case it is hungry. It does not move toward the flower, nor does it move away.

I look up to the sky and give thanks for the cloudy day…

photo by Mateus Campos Felipe in Unsplash

The top 5 things I learned before launching my website

I stopped dead in my tracks from taking Ayo Awosika’s Medium for Blogging Course when he suggested writers should also put their blogs on a WordPress site. This is not the first time I heard this. Off I went into the wild tech yonder.

A friend had success with hiring technical help online so I researched in Upwork and hired someone highly recommended for creating WordPress sites. It was a Friday. He said he was free on Monday and would finish Friday of the same week, which dragged out to a month and many headaches later.

But it didn’t work…

Dangling a carrot in the time of Covid

Photo by Hana Mara from Pexels

A special twenty-two-year-old college student, like a niece to me, shared her woes about distance learning online and some on-site learning but with Covid restrictions and not feeling in a groove nor motivated to “hit the books.”

This young lady was the speaker at her high school commencement, in the Honor Society, and a natural-born leader in so many ways. She gets things done! But she is struggling right now.

Well, we all struggle sometimes and this past year certainly added a few more layers of weight to lift in the everyday…

Rose of Sharon

Photo by Rebecca Matthews on Pixabay

“Are you afraid to die?”

I was speaking to my dear friend of twenty-eight years.

She blinked her eyes for yes, which was her version of a head nod these days.

We were alone in her house in the dining room that had turned into a makeshift bedroom as even using the chairlift to get upstairs was too difficult now with how stiff she had become.

Sharon was diagnosed almost two years earlier with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s an illness without a cure that renders the afflicted increasingly helpless until paralysis causes death.

Debra Emerson

Educator and writer who loves nature, people, life, and making the world a better place. You can visit her at

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