The Plates

The Plates

   I’ll be packing up my plates soon, wrapping them well and putting them in storage for the next few years. There’s nothing flashy about them. They are earth toned, with leaves on the rim. I think I was nineteen when I bought them for a dollar each at Walmart. But I’m a little teary thinking about setting them deep in a box and not using them again for a while. These plates were my first step towards independence, and now they’re chipped and etched with memories. They held the first meal Mike and I had together as newlyweds in our own home. I can still see my mom on my couch, balancing Thanksgiving turkey and potatoes on one of those plates, laughing a joy blessing over her grandchildren. They have been part of every birthday, every holiday, every quiet meal as...

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Growing Smaller

Growing Smaller

  “I realized I probably could have been famous.” My friend Julie sits across from me at a coffee house table. There isn’t a hint of bitterness, pride, or irony in her gentle voice. She’s right. She really could have been. I’ve known this woman for more than ten years, and every time I’ve seen her on stage, I have been mesmerized. Her voice is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard, and her stage presence is as graceful as it is vibrant. She is gorgeous, well-spoken, and about as talented as they come. The total package. Yes, she could have been widely known and celebrated, but she’s not. She doesn’t want to be. Because she has found her true calling – teaching preschool. Julie talks about music, and she smiles. Then she talks about the kids at work, and the smile...

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