A Lesson From the Garden

“Through the Snow” by Lydia Selk Preston Walters rolled his eyes and sighed heavily as warm air started coming from the air conditioning vents. This always happened when he was in the car line; it was one of the reasons that he hated picking Misty up from school. He shut the air off and pushed […]

Grandpa Max's Clock Repair

When I was growing up, my grandparents had a mechanical mantle clock built in 1967 that would play the Westminster Quarters on the quarter hour. I loved it, and even though they usually kept the chimes turned off, they turned them on when I was visiting. So when I moved out on my own, Grandma […]

The Zen of Junior High Dodgeball

Here in Seattle, it’s known as Soak ‘Em* and back in 1979, when I was in the seventh grade, it was more brutal than any other game our emotionally damaged gym teacher could select from his vast trunk of torturous and humiliating activities. Hands down, Soak ‘Em was more painful than touch football, more dangerous […]

The Battle of Olustee: A Tale of the United States Civil War, Part II

Like most of the other men in his company, James Lyons had never been in battle. A former slave, he had joined the 8th United States Colored Troops in Philadelphia only four months earlier. He was proud to call himself free, but claiming freedom didn’t come without problems. There weren’t a lot of jobs available, […]

Laughter Heals

Connie’s friend, ‘Laurie’, had lost her husband to cancer and Connie was doing all she could to help. Some time had passed, and the opportunity to attend a Christian women’s conference presented itself. Hoping it would help Laurie get back into life, Connie invited her to attend, and much to her delight, Laurie agreed. The […]

My Grandfather, the Thief

A while back, my sister, who is an occasional genealogist, informed me that our mother’s maternal grandparents were convicts. As yet, I didn’t know why they were forcibly transported to a godforsaken hole on the other side of the world. Or so it must have seemed to them. At school, we were told that convicts […]

The Battle of Olustee: A Tale of the United States Civil War, in Four Parts

Editors’ Note: This short fiction will be published in four parts. Author Tom Hames gave us this background information. It was so interesting we decided to print it along with his work: I’d like to give you a little information about the idea behind the short story. Henry Shaw was my great-great-grandfather. His biography starts […]

Blackberries, Big Wheels, and “Bleachy Mama”

We use to pick blackberries together, she and I. I didn’t like blackberries, but it was fun picking them along the railroad tracks beside our apartment complex. Our fingers would be stained deep purple, her tongue and lips would match. She had chubby cheeks and the sweetest smile, made even sweeter by the silver caps […]


Whenever I travel overseas, I’m always glad to return home to my country, Australia. I suppose some of this has to do with being tired of living out of a suitcase; tired of the frantic pace where one feels one must fill every day with sightseeing activities; and the recurring thought that, “this is costing […]

Labor Day

Labor Day brings on sad memories for me, because my grandfather died on Labor Day, 1992. That year I was stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. My mom called early on Labor Day to let me know my grandfather had been taken to the hospital, and though I managed to catch a plane a […]