Gloria hadn’t been serving in Mexico very long before she found herself standing over her husband’s dead body on the beach there. It was her daughter Carla’s birthday, the family was at the ocean, and Carla got caught in the undertow. Her father, Gary, ran in. So did three others. Gloria watched in horror. All five drowned. But that’s not the part that rocked the world. As her husband’s body lay there… Read More

It was gray that afternoon, a little misty, a lot of hula hoopers. The karaoke place wasn’t open at 2 p.m. A homeless Jamaican lady told us about what it was like growing up in Alaska. My brain was just that jumbled. One more part of my life had been stripped away that day. I remember making it into Emily’s apartment, collapsing on the couch as she pushed a cup of hot… Read More

All of 2010 has been all rolled up with change. A slow, methodical kind of change – the kind that’s let gratitude run deep, packing go slowly, goodbyes happen gradually and junk be shipped off to Goodwill one small box at a time. For the most part I’ve cherished its pace, letting the benchmarks come but having ample time to take a good, long look at things that passed as they became… Read More

It was dark in the tiny apartment living room, except for the florescent desk lamp, cocked upward to face the room’s occupants like an interrogator’s light looking for answers. If it was seeking out the truth, it found it. The room was full of it. It was full, period. Leaving their shoes in a neat heap at the door, barefooted people packed in the place, sitting reverently on mismatched furniture provided by… Read More