Revival of an American Storyteller: My Walk with Kathryn Tucker Windham...

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     They came from an era vastly different from our own.      In medieval times, people combined stories, poetry, music, and dance as a form of entertainment. The ones who excelled at this practice were revered and respected, often reaping the greatest benefits of their talents as honored members of royal courts. The people called them troubadours or minstrels, and women held these roles just as frequently as men.      They journeyed from land to land gathering news and learning favorite tales of the regions. Often they developed their own stories but sometimes… sometimes, they took bits and pieces of other people’s tales and adventures and embellished them with their own. It is said that good storytellers have the ability to hold an audience in the palm of their hand, observing their reactions and...

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A Little Pride in Joy

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     They met in June. She was working in the back of the General Store, rinsing out old mason jars to be used for pickling and storing preserves and jams. The sweltering heat of the Georgia sun was unforgiving; dime-sized sweat drops fell from her forehead and raced down her back. Her thin cotton top clung to her body as she finished her task and walked back inside. The General Store had been in Charlotte’s family since the establishment of the small town back in the late 1890s. Her father had handed the reins to Peter when they married and her father had fallen ill. For over twenty years, she and Peter worked side by side, her handling most of the clerical work and manning the front of the store, while Peter took to...

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Storm

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     The clouds were dun colored, and starting to gather themselves for a ruckus. The logging trail down to the river had taken an abrupt turn up-slope, then flattened itself out against a bus-sized outcropping of gray-green stone. Lichens and moss covered the pockmarked surface of the rock, turning it into an old man’s stubbly face. As I approached the giant stone, I saw at its base where it had calved, forming a shallow cave. A good place to take shelter from the coming rain. The thunderhead was now compacting itself, hunching its shoulders, ready to deliver.      The autumn air was becoming palpable, and dense. I unslung the day pack and set it upright against the wall of the small cave. From the pack, I removed the small gas burner, the two cup...

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Palm Sunday

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The only thing staining my palms is Sharpie ink. A hypocrite who loves liturgy and science isn’t likely to bleed for her faith, though I watched that movie last night on cable, the one with Gabriel Byrne as the sexy priest and Patricia Arquette as the unduly afflicted, and I stare at my palms all through church willing them to bleed something other than a grocery list, thinking how good it would feel to be a saint, thinking how I need to write milk on my hand before I...

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Waiting for Summer

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I crave sexand fried chickenand the taste of a beer-covered tongue in my mouth when I’ve beendrinking wine. I crave mudand bare feetand watermelon juice dripping down my chin drying sticky on mybare chest. I crave heatand strong thighsand Texas thunderstorms in late July that make grasshoppersbe still. I crave choresand clean sheetsand my dinner table when it is loud with laughter from fullbellies post debate. I crave sparklersand sleeping inand slipping my soles right out of these leather...

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