Published in the Rains County Leader on March 26, 2019:
At the most recent meeting of the East Texas Library Friends Book Club, we discussed the book “The Stranger in the Woods” by Michael Finkel. The subtitle is “The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit.” It’s the story of Christopher Knight who walked into the woods when he was 20 years old and lived there until he was captured 27 years later.
Our initial discussions centered around what a hermit actually is and whether Knight met those requirements. We couldn’t come to a consensus on that issue, so we moved on to the morality of how he supported himself – by stealing from vacation homes and a summer camp facility near his woodland home. Most of us agreed that theft is wrong regardless of the need and the self-imposed limitations on what is taken, although there was one dissenter who thought his actions were acceptable. The majority of our time, though, was spent on the subject of being alone. What was the longest period of time any of us had been alone with no contact or interaction with another person? Most of us had never spent more than 24-48 hours in solitude, much less 27 years – and most of us had no desire to do so. (more…)
I wrote on Monday about the ladies’ conference my church is hosting tomorrow. We’ve spent the last two days mopping floors, swabbing toilets and dusting blinds. We’ve set up tables and chairs, arranged decorations and put up signs. We’ve baked muffins and bagged cookies, put gift bags together and answered phone calls. We’ve panicked and we’ve prayed, and we’re all tired.
This afternoon when I was revising the schedule one more time, I heard the front door open and a voice say “Is Linda here?”
I looked up and saw a lady holding these beautiful flowers. She handed me the vase and said, “I hope they’re what you had in mind.”
“I didn’t order any flowers,” I said. (more…)
I’ve written a lot in the last several months about saying good-bye to Mom. I’ve focused on the good memories, the poignant sweetness of my last few visits with her, and how much I miss her now that she’s gone. I’ve received lots of positive feedback, a lot of it similar to this recent e-mail from a friend.
Sue: I have also loved your posts about your mom; you continue to honor her as you did when she was still on earth and I give YOU honor in that.
My response: Thank you for your continued encouragement about my writing. Without the day-to-day stress, and especially now that her struggle is over, it has been easy to focus on the positive aspects of our relationship. I sometimes feel guilty about some of the negative things I included in my book, but they were truth spoken in love, and I think it’s important to tell both sides of the story. Otherwise people who are having negative experiences think there is something wrong with them. In fact, I just may have to write a post about that!!
As a caregiver I was told that I was an angel, a saint, the most wonderful daughter in the world. I didn’t feel like an angel or a saint, and there were times when I felt anything but wonderful. The longer I served as a caregiver, the tighter the halo got and the less appropriate the labels seemed. I wrote one post about some of my less than proud moments, but it’s time for another one for any of you who think you’re the only one having a hard time. (more…)
Yes, in my own little something-short-of-a-large-fish-but-a-little-more-than-a-small-fish-in-a-very-small-pond way, I’m famous. Let me define my pond. (more…)