Remembering my mentor and friend


I am often asked how I got started writing a weekly column.  Many folks assume that I have a degree in journalism, and that this gig is something I picked up on the way to a more serious newspaper career. The truth is, I intended to become an … [Continue reading]

It’s time for Family Feud!

Waiting in line with my dad, my son, and a handful of pickles!

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, … [Continue reading]

Aging Gracelessly

At forty-three years old, it’s probably time to stop saying, “when” I become middle-aged, and accept that I’ve arrived. I don’t know what the official marker is for middle-aged, but I seriously doubt I’m going to make it to eighty-six. I have found … [Continue reading]

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 … [Continue reading]

My name is in Barnes and Noble!


Yep! Just walk into any Barnes and Noble bookstore, and pick up a copy of this newly released book: Turn to page 126, and sure enough, there is a story that I authored!!   I am unbelievably excited!! … [Continue reading]

Memories Not For Sale

trees and front

My dad called to let me know he found a buyer for the old family homestead. I was last there ten years ago, right after the death of my precious grandmother. The house was going to be rented, and my job was to clean it before the new tenants arrived. … [Continue reading]

My Ricky Schroder Fantasy


Recently, I was perusing my junior high yearbooks when I found the following inscription from 1983: “Gingeretta, you'd make a gorgeous model, ya know. I think Ricky Schroder doesn't know what he's been missing! You're really sweet. I hope you stay … [Continue reading]

Pretty girls say the darndest things!

My 9th grade yearbook picture

“Your articles are so cream-puff. Does a substantial thought ever flit through that head of yours?” “I shan’t subject myself to your unladylike writings any longer! You have offended my delicate sensibilities by using the word poop!” “Why do … [Continue reading]

Chocolate: Here Today, Gone Today

chocolate earth

On occasion, I will hear some freakish woman declare that she doesn’t like chocolate!! I can’t comprehend this odd phenomenon, and in fact, I’m not entirely sure those women are human. The next time I hear one utter the words, “I don’t care for … [Continue reading]