Columns

The Enemy Is Urgency

In 2019, something wonderful happened. I got bit by the tattoo bug. If you’ve followed my column for a while, you’ll know my first tattoo was a big deal. First, it was finding an artist I vibed with. Then it was finding an accessible parlor — no mean…

Special People Enter Our Lives at Unexpected Moments

We all experience moments that change our destiny. For me, it might have been learning whether I had passed a major college exam. For others, it might be the moment their partner responds to a marriage proposal. We often anticipate this type of life-changing moment. But what about unexpected moments?…

Eyes Opened and Eyes Closed

I spent a school year substituting in various special education classrooms in Fort Worth, Texas, before returning to school for teacher certification. I’d already worked with young children with developmental disabilities and loved their (usually) carefree and good-natured dispositions. My first assignment as a substitute teacher at…

A Power Outage and a Frozen Ramp

Here in North Carolina, the weather fluctuates between springtime warmth on Christmas Day to freeze-your-butt-off cold a couple days later. We sometimes get all four seasons in the span of a few weeks, but it’s the wintertime that requires the most preparation. It forces people…

Even in the Midst of COVID-19, We Must Own Our Time

As I write this, my room glows in the midafternoon sun. Sometime last year, I invested in a suncatcher, so there are rainbows everywhere — pastel sunbursts that are there, then gone. It’s unseasonably warm in Minnesota today, so the snow is melting, dripping steadily off the roof. According to…

Preparing for Surgery, I Search for a New Mantra

I like the saying, “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” but I think it’s overused. We should come up with other phrases that mean the same thing so that the idea doesn’t become too cliché. People can pick whatever words they prefer, based on their own situation. All that matters…

Having a Body Is a Full-time Job

“One thing’s for sure,” I tell my dad. “This is going to make a great column.” I’d been dreading this doctor’s appointment for days, and not just because of the hell that is commuting during the winter. The last time I was at this clinic, a neurologist questioned whether I…