Tracks

Some things are stitched through your life like a thread. I’m thinking of railroad tracks, which really are like threads, or perhaps great running scars. I learned to fear them when I was little; my grandmother would remind me often that her father was killed at a railroad crossing, run down when she was only …

Flowers

I keep finding tender purple pansies growing in corners of my yard where they were never planted. Stubborn and fragile, cheerful without cause, they remind me of Caroline. Purple was her favorite color. She used to help me plant the pansies every fall, or at least I think she did, because too many of the …

Don’t Touch

The very first order given to us by the Almighty was: Don’t touch. Are you listening to me? Hands to yourselves. Don’t. Touch. Very, very bad things will happen if you touch that tree. See here, I’ve given you all these other trees, covered with yummy fruit. Mmmmm. Go enjoy the garden. Ride an elephant. …

My Living Will

It occurs to me that I ought to have some kind of living will. I’d appreciate some free legal advice (from those of you whose legal degrees were not awarded as the result of a three-week Internet course) on the following: I, Tony Woodlief, being of relatively sound mind (I mean, sometimes I get those …

The Least of These

A helpless woman lay starving on a bed in Florida, upon the court-supported request of her adulterous husband. There is some evidence that she remains sentient, yet the putative champions of helpless women maintained their silence. As President Bush this morning signed a bill giving Terri Schiavo’s parents the ability to resume feeding her, commentators …

Birthday

Sometimes when people learn that I have three boys, they say something like: “don’t you want a little girl to go with all those boys?” I remember when we thought we were in the worst of Caroline’s dying, after she couldn’t speak but before the pain made her scream for hours, I would stare out …

Christmas Armaments

My Christmas quest was simple enough: buy toy cowboy guns for my boys. Caleb and Eli have boots and hats, bandanas and sheriff’s badges. But they don’t have holsters and guns. Without those critical components, however, you’ve really just got yourself a Village People costume. We’ve made do until now with two wooden pistols that …