On Racism and Growing up in the American South

Growing up in the South, you learn from an early age about racism. Our public schools taught from books that The Daughters of the Confederacy bought for schools. Eventually, we read books that actually told some truth.

I remember reading about the Civil Rights movement and its leaders.  I remember learning details about Martin Luther King, Jr.  I remember feeling shame to know he was assassinated in my home state of Tennessee.

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Shanah Tovah U’metukah

The year 2020 has been a strange year, and so has the Jewish year of 5780.

As the sun sets tonight, we hope and pray for a better year.

What will 5781 bring us? Do we dare to dream of health and happiness?

Or shall we begin to brace ourselves for a long, hard winter?

It is our hope which will sustain us, and we pray for a better year.

5781 brings us hope, and another step closer to coming back together.

What is Happiness? (a prose poem)

What is happiness?

It’s sitting in the comfy chair in the reading nook, next to you while you work away at your desk. It’s our pup laying behind your chair, chewing his favorite toy, completely at peace. It’s our baby girl, purring away sitting on the ottoman next to my feet.

Happiness isn’t money or the nicest things the world has to offer.

Happiness is your kind and loving heart, loving me forevermore.

Cooking is a Part of My Soul: Challah French Toast

Being a Southern woman, making food is a part of your soul.  It’s in our blood, it’s part of our spirit.  It’s just what we do – we cook when we’re happy, when we’re expecting guests, when we’re down, or during a pandemic.

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Southern Backroads (a poem)

Sometimes I think of our love
as though it’s an old Southern backroad
You’re in the driver’s seat
my feet are on the dash
The roads are curvy and dictate our speed
sometimes we take them slow, sometimes fast
At times they’re the straightest path
with fields of corn on either side
There are moments of fear
but also moments of pure joy
Those old Southern backroads
can go on forever, with no end in sight
Many times you ride those roads
with your most trusted companion
Those Southern backroads are an adventure like none other
and it’s only you I want by my side.

You Built Me Palaces out of Paragraphs

Most of our country has been in some form of quarantine or social distancing for about three and a half months.  I was sent home from work on March 5 because I had a sneeze. Fear was already high in the Philadelphia area. Those first eight days, I had some freedom – I still went to teach at religious school the following Sunday and Wednesday in New Jersey.  I had no idea that a few days later, my entire office would be sent home, and our state would put in place a stay-at-home order.

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Love is a Type of Water

As a child, at least as a child growing up heavily in church as I did, you are taught to memorize verse after verse. I remember most of the verses, even if it’s not word-for-word and the exact location. I can hold my own in an intellectual, biblical conversation. Its one of the things I’m most proud of about myself.

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Pray for You

Prayer has always been a major part of my life. I remember kneeling next to my bed as a little girl to pray. I even loved when I was old enough to lead my family in our dinner prayers, which sometimes felt like a sermon because I got lost on tangents and just love talking (even to God)!

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