By Stephanie Wampler • Columnist

The dark is a strange creature. It has so many faces.

“Dark” is how we have always described our worst times. Thousands of years ago, the phrase “the valley of the shadow of death” was coined, and it still strikes a deep chord. We can all think of some dark time in our lives.

By Stephanie Wampler • Guest Columnist

Multi-tasking? Not me. Or so I’ve always thought.

By Stephanie Wampler

I didn’t know her. I never met her. I haven’t even read that much about her. I saw lots of pictures of her husband, but not so many of her. The pictures of her were always with her husband. She apparently had a career of her own and was both a singer and an actress.

But that’s not why I know about her.

I pride myself on being a good cook. After 10 years of effort, I have finally mastered homemade cinnamon rolls. Entire batches have been known to disappear in seconds. I can cook suppers dripping with cheeses and overflowing with tangy marinaras. I can do Southern meals with fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy and lots of garden vegetables. I cooked for a local inn and heard guests say that the main reason they returned was the food. I don’t consider myself a gourmet by any means, but I do figure that I have learned some things about food and making it taste good.

By Stephanie Wampler

One day last year, I had high hopes for a glorious time at the library. I envisioned smiling children listening attentively to the librarian, singing the innocent songs of childhood, learning all about the world around them. A whole morning would pass so sweetly by. My reality, however, was quite different. There were smiling children with glowing faces and sweet voices, and there was a librarian with a stack of engaging books. But when those children raised their voices in song, my son was not among them. He was curled in a fetal position on the floor, crying.

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