Published in the Rains County Leader on March 22, 2021:
One of the responsibilities of the President of the Friends of the Library is to submit a Year in Review Report to the Commissioners’ Court. My predecessor, Lyn Baldwin, made this submission in the form of an in-person PowerPoint slide presentation. Last year, because of COVID, I submitted the report for 2019 by email. It worked out well, and since I’m not much of a public speaker unless I’m talking about my books, I’ll probably do the same thing this year –assuming I can gather enough material.
2020 was the year of cancellations, and that included FOL plans. From April through September, FOL correspondence alternated between announcements of new plans and announcements of cancellations. I ended the year with a few photos of the October Book Sale, but not nearly enough for a presentation. So I made a plea for photos of any FOL or Library events. I heard the sound of crickets, but as usual, Library Director Wendy Byrd came through. She sent me pictures of the Tween Photo Contest display boards, Summer Reading winners, and little bitties enjoying story time early in the year. Her offering was more than enough for a decent PowerPoint and also for a bit of column inspiration.
Christian Piatt, my own son, was a great fan of Library Story Time. I was never sure which was the bigger attraction, the books or the children’s librarian who he planned to marry one day. Actually, he was a big fan of anything that involved words. He watched Sesame Street and the Electric Company, and he went to bed without a fight as long as I promised to read two stories and a poem.
Published in the Community Chronicle December 15, 2019:
Asking a child what he wants to be when he grows up can be very entertaining. I’m sure my son Christian went through the typical hero-worship phase, but the first career ambition I remember was when he began kindergarten. We lived within walking distance of the school, and I was a stay-at-home mom, so we got in some exercise as well as some together time when the weather permitted. We had to cross one major street, and Christian immediately fell in love with the kind man with the bright orange vest and bright red sign who greeted him every day and escorted him safely across the street. Forget the fireman, policeman, and even Spider Man – he wanted to be a crossing guard.
Christian showed great ambition through the years. He wrote his first story as soon as he could hold a pencil, and he created his first book out of samples our paper-salesman neighbor gave him. In the summer he carried lemonade around in his wagon, visiting the neighbors who were working in their yards instead of waiting for them to come to him, and in December he knocked on doors, offering bundles of mistletoe tied with red yarn for 50 cents each. (more…)
Published in The Rains County Leader on February 20, 2018:
Newer readers may not be aware that several years ago I wrote a memoir about Alzheimer’s caregiving. It was structured around a seven-week, sixteen state motor home trip we took with my parents, both of who suffered from some kind of dementia. In one of the early chapters, I shared the difficulties of getting ready for the trip. Following is a paragraph about getting Mom and Dad’s clothes ready to go: (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on November 22, 2016:
I developed the habit of keeping a gratitude journal years ago when Mom and Dad lived with us. Caring for two people with Alzheimer’s, regardless of how much you love them, is enough to change the most positive person into a grouch. When I realized how negative I had become, I bought a small notebook and resolved to write down at least three things each day for which I was grateful. Finding three things proved to be more difficult on some days than others, but after months of practice and discipline, my attitude began to change. I learned to look for and appreciate the small joys and to overlook the less joyful moments. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on March 1, 2016:
When I was growing up, I was taught that it isn’t polite to tell people how much you make, how much you paid for something, or who you voted for. Those rules have long since gone the way of a lot of the other customs and traditions of the pre-Sixties world. The one about sharing your candidate preferences is particularly outdated now. In fact, in the past weeks and months, the subject has dominated most polite, and lots of impolite, conversations. One of my favorite people to discuss politics with is my son, Christian Piatt. (more…)
Is the Bible True…Really?: A Dialogue on Skepticism, Evidence, and Truth
Who Is Jesus…Really?:A Dialogue on God, Man, and Grace
Did the Resurrection Happen…Really?:A Dialogue on Life, Death, and Hope.
This work is very different in some ways from the book I reviewed yesterday: postChristian:
What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care?The Chronicles are fiction rather than non-fiction, and the authors approach their subject from a more conservative world view than the author of postChristian. McDowell, an apologist, evangelist, and writer, partnered with Sterrett who is an educator, ethicist, and evangelist. Piatt on the other hand is described as a “fearless and provocative spiritual trailblazer.” However, all the authors offer in-depth reasons for their beliefs along with information that will help their readers avoid sound-bite theology. (more…)
As promised yesterday, I’m posting the first of two reviews intended to spark interest in apologetics, or learning exactly what it is you believe and why. postChristian: What’s Left? Can We Fix It? Do We Care? was written by Christian Piatt who describes himself as an author, speaker, antagonist, and God nerd. The book is an in-depth look into the decline of institutional religion and what might lie ahead for Christianity.
Structured in a problem/solution format, the book offers alternating chapters featuring Christian scandals,
loosely based on the “seven deadly sins,” followed by Christ-like virtues. The author writes in a way that at times made me want to sit back and say “Word” – which I think is the current equivalent to “Right on, man” – while at other times I scratched my head and thought, now what exactly did he mean by that? His scholarly citations sometimes challenged my lazy intellectualism, but his conversational style, contemporary references, and personal stories clarified his point and answered many questions. (more…)
There is an old social sound bite that says successful social gatherings should never include discussions of religion or politics. I was involved in a family get-together a couple of years ago that ignored that advice, and the results were not pretty.
David and I were visiting our son and daughter-in-law, and one evening, as often happens in their home, dinner turned into an impromptu party. After dinner, we retired to the patio to enjoy the beautiful Pacific Northwest weather, and since there were several ministers and a couple of Christian writers in the group, the forbidden subject of religion came up. (more…)
In A Long and Winding Road: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos, I tell not only the story of our seven-week, sixteen-state trek in a forty-foot motor home, but I also tell some of the stories of how life brought us to this point. Our travels took us to Pueblo, Colorado to visit our son Christian, and we timed it so we could help celebrate his birthday. Of course, that evoked memories of his debut into the world and of the nurse who reminded me somewhat of Nurse Ratchett in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
To read Chapter 1 of A Long and Winding Road, CLICK HERE.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
No, this isn’t a political rant against “The War on Christianity.” Instead, in honor of Election Day, it’s a brief story about my five-year-old son and a voting booth. It was taken from a previous post titled My Son, the Holy Heretic.
Christian was always an independent thinker. In 1976 I took him with me to vote. I thought it would be good for him to be exposed to the process even if he didn’t understand what was going on. It wasn’t the first time, and definitely not the last, that I underestimated him. (more…)
The story of a lonely, innocent girl who gets tangled up in the sex trafficking trade in a small Texas town. It’s about her relationship with Eric, a slick suburban pimp; Jesse, a Christian tattoo artist and motorcycle rider; and Mrs. G, a compassionate but tough attorney and foster parent.