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A vast web of misunderstanding

I just went to a cousin’s birthday party in Colorado City, Texas. Although I see most of my cousins on my father’s side of the family at least once a year, I haven’t seen many of the cousins on my mother’s side of the family in years. I was reminded of a line from Anna [...]

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What’s your story?

Everyone has a story—or two or three, and most of us tell the stories that define our lives over and over, explained author George Saunders at an Art & Letters Live presentation in Dallas on March 8, 2017. I’ve been thinking about my stories. What are the stories about my life that I tell over [...]

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Chaos and love

“Our family—the perfect blend of chaos and love.” After Thanksgiving, our house seemed too quiet when Mary Elizabeth left for Denton and Jay left for Tulsa. Yes, our family has plenty of love and sometimes an ample amount of chaos, too. Sometimes I am not sure if ours is the perfect blend! I found the [...]

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When to be kind

“Be kind whenever possible,” says the Dalai Lama. “It is always possible.” When I was in Washington state recently, I discovered wise words in a number of places—a large independent bookstore, a small antique shop and even in the airport. I found this quote at Village Books in Bellingham. –Joy

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My family is growing

While I was visiting our friends Mark and Eva in Bellingham, Washington, I thought about this fact: Sometimes friends seem like family. And, how wonderful that is! My family expands when I move a friend from the very-good-friend category to the almost-like-family category. –Joy

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The meaning of life

“Love is our true destiny,” said Thomas Merton, the Catholic writer and mystic. “We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone. We find it with another.”

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A familiar room

Kirsten and Dieter are “dearest friends,” but they have differences of opinion. They have had the same argument for years until it became “something like a familiar room where they met,” writes Emily St. John Mandel in her book Station Eleven. My husband and I have some of those familiar rooms. Next time we disagree [...]

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How do you spell “love”?

Piglet asked: “How do you spell ‘love’?” “You don’t spell it,” said Pooh. “You feel it.” I found that quote on a Happy Wedding card from Hallmark Disney Winnie the Pooh, and I bought it and sent it to a lovely young couple. I didn’t go to their wedding, but, when I saw their photo [...]

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Helping a friend

I’m the helper now. After I shattered my femur earlier this year, I had lots of people helping me—friends and family who called me often, cooked food for me and drove me to physical therapy. Now my good friend Lynn has a broken arm, and I recently spent a week driving her to the doctor, [...]

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A family that could be any of ours

“Well, this is just great,” Jeannie told Denny, her brother. She stripped off her oven mitts and slammed them down next to her plate. “You waltz on out whenever you like; everything stops for Lord Denny. Everyone’s just thankful you stayed as long as you did; everyone’s falling all over themselves because it’s such a [...]

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