Donna's Blog

Welcoming Unwelcomed Guests

Have you ever had an unwanted guest? You know, someone who talks incessantly, is abrasive, goes through your drawers and closets, somehow makes you feel like you’re not good enough in one area or two or five? For me, the dilemma is that I really want that person out of my home, but I don’t want to be rude or cause them to be upset with me. I remember hosting an open house each Christmas when the kids were little,

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Re-Gifting (A very short story)

This is a 100-word story written for a contest. Guidelines required the topic to be birdwatching and the required word was “swear.” ************************************ An anthology of songs erupts above her. She centers the mockingbird in her scope as he releases his litany of music: beautiful, beckoning, mournful, majestic. He is earnest in his meaningful replications, and she understands why he echoes the beauty of individual anthems. Her heart affirms that she in her skin and he in his feathers are

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Good Friday Thoughts

This morning, as I reread the story of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion, I became interested in all the people who were involved in the events. Simon of Cyrene was just a passerby who became noted in history as the man who helped Jesus carry the cross. Malchus was the high priest’s slave whose right ear was severed from his head at the hand of our impetuous Peter; he was also the last person Christ healed before he was nailed to

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The Lesson – A Short Story

The following is a short story I wrote for a timed-writing contest this past February (2022). The required character, setting, and object were a hypochondriac, the future, and a stained baby blanket. Although Polly learns her lesson in the afterlife, we all know that our lessons are learned prior to the afterlife. There is a time when it is too late to learn. ******************************************* I stood impatiently in the wall-less room with my feet perfectly centered on the designated dot,

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A Revealing Routine

The routine is the same. Every. Single. Day. I sit in my recliner with my sanity steaming in the cup beside me so I can turn on the news and prepare myself for what I’m about to see and hear. Then enters Harper, my canine friend who allows me to live in her house. She whines a bit, flops her head down on the footrest of my recliner and stares a hole through my soul. As soon as I look

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Help! I’ve Fallen and . . .

Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up! I tried everything to prevent a fall like this, but somehow, it happened just the same. You see, I was just strolling through life being a shy baby of the family, and then suddenly, I was being handed a high school diploma. The next four years filled up with dorm life pulling me out of my shyness, new friends with whom I bonded for life, professors demanding papers, books that required reading,

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Consider the Cottage Cheese

The discussion was lively, and the food was making its rounds as we sat at my parents’ oval kitchen table. My four-year-old nephew was usually the center of attention, but today for some reason, everyone was involved in a conversation that had nothing to do with him. In fact, no one was paying attention to him until I looked over, astonished at what was happening on his plate. “What are you doing?” “Making a sandwich.” “With cottage cheese?” “’Yep!” “Yuk!

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On Becoming a Giant

This is a short story I wrote for a contest. I had 24 hours to write using a farm, a horseshoe, and a giant. I have not received feedback, but I am aware of the weak points of my story. Still, I enjoyed writing this piece. On Becoming a Giant “Here comes that cranky wife of yours.” Phil glanced across the yard and took in the sight of Maggie on her mission before resuming his fight with the rusted bolt.

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Piper’s Pocket

The combination of children and Christmas decorations always results in excitement, and this year was no different for the Noble children. Mom and dad assembled the tree, and the children began hanging ornaments before the last section of the tree was in place. While everyone was busy with the tree, Piper Grace was eyeing the box containing the crèche components: Mary, Joseph, a sheep, a couple of cows, the camels, the trio of wise men, and a few shepherds. However,

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The Crime Before Christmas

I am no Sherlock Holmes, but I was able to piece together the details of the crime. The perpetrators had even left the weapon behind. The timing for such a destructive event was horrible: a few days before our annual Christmas Open House. I had been so excited to show off my beautiful English tea biscuit Christmas church built by tediously following the directions from page 22 of Good Housekeeping magazine. Although I am not good with crafts, I was

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A Line in the Sand

A line had been drawn in the sand. As dramatic as that sounds, the line was simply a piece of pink yarn leftover from one of my mother’s knitting projects taped to the bedroom floor. My sister and I shared a room, but we did not share the same sense of tidiness. We had been arguing incessantly and somehow that got on our mom’s last nerve. She refused to give me up for adoption as suggested by my sister, but

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Don’t Hold Your Applause!

My early morning minutes are usually spent silently correcting everyone’s grammar on Facebook and not so silently correcting news anchors’ grammar on television. Quite a bit of eye rolling occurs during those times with only Harper as my witness. Eye-rolling is all I have left of my teaching career, so I was thrilled when I was invited to work with a high school class of seniors working on college essays. While I looked forward to teaching a mini-lesson, I was

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Cape Power

Whether it is Egyptian or Turkish cotton, linen, rayon, terry cloth, 300 or 900 GSM (grams per square meter), a towel has the power to transform a child into a superhero. The common boring adult sees an adorable four-year-old running around the house with a towel flapping in the breeze, but the towel-wearing child sees the earth beneath his feet, the clouds at his shoulders, and an evil villain straight ahead. Sadly, there are chronologically classified adults who still think

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The Beauty of Change

Any type of change can be difficult, painful, uncomfortable: loss of a loved one, a move, a new job, a change in a relationship, a medical diagnosis. This morning, however, I am reflecting on changes that accompany the process of growing old which is difficult, painful, uncomfortable. I’m now buying concealer in bulk; soon a semi will be backing into my driveway for the delivery. Any product that says “rejuvenating” is my friend, and my hairdresser, Kim, and I are

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Intentional Widow – A Short Story

“Hey! You’re kind of cute!” I jerked my head towards the voice in the left lane. The driver of the silver Corvette convertible winked as soon as our eyes met. A second later, the light turned green, and he took off. The car behind me honked impatiently, so I closed my mouth and stepped on the accelerator. Within seconds, my red Pontiac Sunbird was pulling up beside the very handsome, stop-light-pick-up-line man at the next intersection. “Are you following me?”

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The Power of a Lullaby

Our middle child had a rough infancy. Our nights and my days were filled with trying to soothe him; he had colic in the worst way. I remember holding and rocking him at 3:00 a.m., not yet having been to bed. He was squirming and crying, and I was in tears, not knowing what to do. I then began singing “There’s Just Something About that Name” hoping the song’s “something” was peace and quiet! He kept crying, but the words

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Checkered Flag Only

Sometimes the mountain of negatives obscures my view of the positives, whether I am just trying to cook a meal, clean up the dog hair, or survive another day. I know that a lot of people have that same struggle. Lately, I have realized that while I tell myself I have the checkered flag as my goal – to finish my race with dignity, grace, and strength – I have been holding the white surrender flag behind my back, ready

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Well That’s Awkward!

My most embarrassing moment occurred when my children were very small while my husband was working to grow a church in a small community. There was a large room with a separate entrance at one end of our house; the small congregation used that room for services. Sunday School (boy, that’s an outdated term!) classes were held in our living room and even in our laundry room. My housekeeping skills were under scrutiny! The back part of our house, however,

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Measuring Up

Here in the Rhodes’ home, we are in the third month of our three-week renovation project.  During this project, there have been a few times when I was on one end of a tape measure: not my favorite place to be. Who has time to count all those little lines and figure out fractions? Why isn’t “a little past 31 and a half inches” good enough? Admittedly, sharing the tape measure is not part of our marital highlights. Cooking isn’t

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Family Dinner

Last evening was a mid-week, no-occasion, family dinner. Mother-in-law made a delicious lasagna, daughter-in-law made a fresh, tasty salad, and I made some bread and a dessert. Two little boys were also here. They brought the giggles and kept us all on our toes. Life doesn’t get much better. The dinner discussion was quite interesting, and I thought I would share it with you. I’m sure you have had similar discussions at your family dinners. “I don’t like lasagna!” “This

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