Archives for category: Life Stories

It’s just a little crush
Not like I faint every time we touch
It’s just some little thing
Not like everything I do depends on you
~ “Crush” Jennifer Paige

Dusk is my favorite time of day. I just love being able to drive around with my headlights and sunglasses on. Last night, as I was driving with the windows down and the radio up, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” came on, and I could only think of one thing: Matt Krueger.

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One year ago this month, Nashville was hit with a 500-year flood that rocked our community. Yet, despite the mass of people affected and damage done, the world remained unaware of our dire situation—that is, until a sports writer by the name of Patten Fuqua decided to write a column on why we weren’t getting any press.

“A large part of the reason that we are being ignored,” Fuqua wrote, “is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn’t. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn’t loot. Our biggest warning was, ‘Don’t play in the floodwater.’ When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren’t doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.”

So who is Nashville?

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To avoid washing the floor last night, I drove to the store and bought orange juice. Not an entire gallon, just a single serving, with medium pulp. Given the option, I would have chosen maximum pulp, but there was none to be found. Knowing the consequences, I raised the container to my winter-chapped lips and let the bittersweet texture roll through my mouth, down my parched throat, and into my acid-loathing stomach.

You see, a number of years ago I was diagnosed with acid reflux and have had to cut back on a lot of the things I love in order to appease my volcanic digestive system. While I have not forsaken my daily breakfast of apple slices and peanut butter, I have ruefully traded my coffee for tea (which is still a no-no), switched to a lower zest salsa, and given up a lot of mint and chocolate. I have not had orange juice since I don’t know when.

Sitting in my car, I tipped back the last of the nectar, savoring every single drop. Yet, even as I licked a tiny bit of pulp from the rim, memories flooded back to the best juice I have ever tasted. Whether from the corner store carton or a vat homemade by the village women, my taste buds have never received such treat as when I was in the Dominican Republic. While mulling over juice, other memories seeped in, too; not all happy, but all worthwhile.

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My freshman year of college I decided to go skydiving with a group from my dorm. Being that I was already 18, I didn’t need parental consent, so I didn’t tell my parents until after I had done it, which allowed them to freak out but be happy for my safety. It was actually a rather safe process. We had to go through extensive training. We spent one night watching safety videos and then an entire afternoon practicing on-site before they let us anywhere near the plane.

The kind of skydiving we did was called “static line.” Basically, your ripcord is attached to the plane so that, when you’re at the end of the static line, your parachute is pulled for you. A large portion of our training involved “what to do if your static line fails to pull the ripcord.” Every jumper pack was equipped with a primary and a backup parachute, you know, just in case. Read the rest of this entry »

Bum Wrap is an article I wrote for Christian Singles magazine a few years ago that was supposed to be about my work at a homeless shelter and recovery program but ended up being about how it worked on me, instead.