My NSNC Contest Entry

An entry into the column contest for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists consists of three articles published in the previous calendar year. This year, I placed in the General Interest Category! On June 28th, at the conference in DC, I will find out if I placed 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. Here are the articles that […]

More Stubborn than a Red Headed Octopus

My oldest child is a redhead, also known as a “ginger kid.” They say ginger kids do not have souls, but I know for a fact that she does. She stole mine during the potty training years. I had hoped to have her trained before her baby brother arrived, but I might as well have […]

Cutting the Technological Apron Strings

My college daughter and I were chatting on Facebook when for some reason she decided to text me. Apparently, it takes two modes of technological communication to equal the satisfaction of one real life conversation. I responded, “I like how we are simultaneously Facebooking and texting each other. One of these days, you will need […]

Hark! The Herald Angels Tweet

More than the scent of holly and pine More than the sight of red bows and twine More than the feel of snow on my cheeks More than the taste of freshly baked treats The sounds of Christmas make me aware Of peace and good cheer filling the air Are you listening? Sleigh bells ring […]

The Twisted Fantasies of a Quaker Boy

Nearly a quarter of a century in a relationship with a Quaker boy has certainly had its interesting moments.  I grew up with a strict religious background, but not as strict as his.  For example, I was allowed to watch Happy Days, but I had to turn down the volume during the theme song due […]

The Big Ugly Experience

Sometimes, I forget to be a good mom and will neglect to do things like warn my nine-year-old son that if he partakes of the American Legion’s All-You-Can-Eat Biscuit and Gravy Breakfast, he probably shouldn’t enter the festival pizza eating contest a few hours later. He was downing a third slice when I noticed a […]

OMG! A Weekend in New England!

At the age of 15, I had my first piece published in the Barry Manilow fan club newsletter. And so, it was his song Weekend in New England that played in my head as I made my trip to Connecticut for the conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. In my mind, New England is a […]

It’s time for Family Feud!

In spite of what the title suggests, this article is not about the in-laws, or the outlaws, or even my sister. A few months ago, my Aunt Shirlee decided to pursue her lifelong dream of being on the game show, Family Feud. With the surname of Pickel, pronounced just like the small cucumber preserved in […]

Amber hues of moody blues

When I was a kid, I had a mood ring that was perpetually blue, signifying contentment and peace. That is, unless my younger sister was getting into my stuff; then it would turn as black as the midnight sky… It’s a good thing I haven’t been wearing a mood ring the past few weeks because […]