Creating the holiday meant for me

Glennon Doyle is a favorite writer of mine and currently hosts a powerful podcast called “We Can Do Hard Things.” Doyle says what screws us up the most is the picture in our heads of how things are supposed to be. From birth, we’re offered images, words, models and examples of the types of people we’re encouraged to one day become. 

A unique kind of holiday

Every year of our girlhood, my sister and I woke up early on Thanksgiving Day, sat at the kitchen barstools in our pajamas and helped my mom break up cornbread and biscuits so we could make my great grandmother’s dressing recipe. Throughout the day, the house would fill with smells of turkey, macaroni and cheese, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Sometime mid-morning, my grandparents would drive up from Travelers Rest, S.C., to join in on the festivities. 

Inspiration from Mary Oliver, Sadhguru and Ted Lasso

“Sometimes I need / Only to stand / Wherever I am / To be blessed.”  — Mary Oliver 

The circle of life for Main Street commerce

For several years, The Smoky Mountain News has partnered with the Haywood Chamber of Commerce to publish its annual magazine. 

When being a mom breaks your heart

Being a mom is always hard, but there is something uniquely challenging about parenting an adolescent. For me, it felt like my 12-year-old morphed into a young man overnight. Within one calendar year, he grew six inches and three shoe sizes. I watched his pants grow shorter each day like he was a superhero molting into a larger, more powerful form. Suddenly his voice was deeper, and I found myself grasping for his little boy octave, the one without the baritone sound and crackly inflection.   

Reminders of humanity after a grueling day

In today’s unpredictable, chaotic world, we’re in search of anything that offers hope for humanity. 

Learning from the young to protect our planet

My 12-year-old son is extraordinarily inquisitive. Since he was a little boy, he’s inquired about everything from politics and finances to sports and geography to space and the environment to all topics in between. He loves to learn and fully absorbs all the knowledge he acquires, to the point where he’s often concerned about the outcome or implications of what’s going on in this big, confusing world of ours. 

Finding an antidote in baseball

Aside from the global darkness of a pandemic, political strife, natural disasters and the impending anniversary of 9/11, there is grief on a local and personal level as well. 

When distractions — and watchful angels — soothe grief

They say the weeks leading up to the anniversary of a loved one’s death are harder than the day itself. 

I’d say that’s true. 

Our epic RV adventure

This week’s column comes to you from a campground picnic table in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My boyfriend and I are on a weeklong RV adventure with our cumulative seven children. In January, we decided against a yearly beach trip and instead created a plan to visit three different amusement parks via giant recreational vehicle. 

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