The Digitally Winged Generation & The Quest For Deeper Roots
By Jed Cain
“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other wings.” -W. Hodding Carter, II.
Over the past year, our family embarked upon a new adventure. We traded in our suburban life in South Louisiana and moved to the country in North Louisiana.
We are no longer surrounded by Whole Foods, Starbucks and Barnes & Nobles. We now find ourselves nestled in the agricultural embrace of the Cane River National Heritage Area, surrounded by corn, cotton and coyotes.
Our move north brought with it an old house. A 19th century Creole cottage that my 11-year-old daughter sarcastically describes as “the oldest house in the world.” The simple luxuries of closets and modern shower configurations have been replaced with armoires and claw foot tubs.… Continue reading.
The Tooth Fairy Is Creepy (And Awesome)
By Laura Knoll
I know I’m not the only mother out there who cringes violently at the thought of a loose, wiggling, or detached tooth. Sometimes I have nightmares where I lose my own teeth, and they are among the most frightening ones I have (up there with tidal waves and realizing half-way through a college semester that I haven’t been to class and am going to fail). I have a certifiable phobia of teeth. And now my kids are losing theirs. And it’s gross.
There’s just something haunting and visceral about losing a part of your body – and a bone at that!… Continue reading.
Can’t Never Did Do Anything
By Anna Matejck
My Grandpa Jack was magic. Truly, he was. To a curious, head-in-the-clouds girl like myself, his abilities could be described as nothing but magic! Grandpa Jack could always get a campfir single match. It didn’t matter if the wood was damp or freshly cut from his forested property in the Missouri Ozarks; one match was all it took. A master “tinkerer” (as he called himself), he could rebuild or fix anything he got his leathery grease-stained hands on. His shop in the garage was overflowing with bits and pieces of machinery he’d salvaged, and everyone within a thirty-mile radius knew that if something wasn’t working, Jack would make it right again.… Continue reading.
By Emma Wright
Cold. Colder than normal, he says that’s what the saline does to you. You might still be holding his hand after your body froze and went numb from the needle, but you can’t tell. Dark red stains shout from the white and baby blues. The tears are an afterthought, but at least they’re warm.
Mom is on and off the phone. There’s a poor connection, and she can’t hear very well. The woman in white takes her voice out of the room to discuss.
Repeat 4 times in 4 months.
He has to leave, so goodbyes are said. Duty calls.… Continue reading.
A Change Of Heart
By Katie Davison
It is hard for some people to believe that this is the same person! Not two months ago she was the most self-centered and selfish person I knew. I would know! I was her maid. Now she is a kind and selfless young lady. Who am I referring to? Delaney Austin. Delaney was an up and coming animator living in the heart of Hollywood. She wasn’t a bad person, but she wasn’t the best at sharing. But all of this changed one “fateful” Friday afternoon.
Upon arriving home from work she tossed the keys to her car to her butler for him to park, then turned to go to her office to begin sorting through the large stack of mail on her desk.… Continue reading.
A Day in the Life of Emily With Bipolar Type 2
By Emily Davidow
I wake up, kind of groggy from a restless night, full of nightmares from my medications. I shake it off and plan my day. So far. So good. My little internal cheerleader saying, “I can do this.” I feel pretty good today.
Organizing my day is a little frustrating, should have done it last night! Mind is racing and overwhelmed, but again I hear my little voice “I can do this!”. Suddenly, my mind becomes cluttered and congested with racing thoughts and I try to override the increasing anxiety with deep breaths and calming thoughts. It is not working!… Continue reading.
Let There be Love
By Jada Ford
It was impossible not to notice the slightest change in a town as small as mine. That time high school seniors moved up the speed limit sign, the day the grocery store repainted the parking lines, and the week the preacher forgot to close his curtains were all changes that sparked conversations and gossip. Maybe they shouldn’t be so big a deal, but it was ours so they were. People had settled here to keep change away. I liked the predictability, the schedule–I depended on the dependency. So of course, I didn’t know how to react to the deep darkness of the neighboring house, particularly the one window that had always faced mine.… Continue reading.
A Tall Tale
By Madison Liquin
Trying to think of an interesting fact about me is always challenging because like many if told to respond to this would think they might not be interesting enough. It took some thinking, and I finally decided on the fact I wanted to share. Throughout my twelve years in school, I have never once tried any sort of drug or attended any parties with alcohol or just parties in general. When I tell my classmates this, they tend to think I am boring or uncool, but this year, my senior year, I have realized how awesome that really is, especially in today’s society. … Continue reading.
An Incredible Small Town
By Mia Barthel
In a town far, far away tucked into the mountains and carved into a valley lies a town called Walla Walla. It’s a place so nice they named it twice. Here you will find many people stomping on grapes and an abundance of smiles. The town is known for it’s friendliness, wine, and onions. I know the town for the way it completely changed my life.
So the story begins, I had moved from one small town to the next over my 18 years but when we stopped in Walla Walla something gave and we settled down. I came from a previous small town where there wasn’t much to do besides talk and making friends was based on your bad decisions.… Continue reading.
I’m A Gymnast
By Brooke Graham
With sweaty palms, shaky legs, and a nervous smile, I walked into my first ever job interview. I was greeted with a firm handshake and the usual smalltalk. She said I looked professional; if only she new just minutes before I had taken off the tags to my new and only button up shirt I picked out just for the occasion. In no time she explained, “now this interview is going to be a little different. Besides getting some basic background information later on, I am only going to ask you one question. Ready? How would you describe yourself in one word?” A million thoughts rushed through my head.… Continue reading.
Brave New Steps
By Alexander Watt
Mile after mile, step after step, minute after minute, there I was walking on the same dirt road I had found myself countless times before. I must have been kicking the same rock for over a mile now. I had already passed the field where Germina, my favorite cow resided. I had offered the cow my usual greeting and continued walking and kicking the rock. Now, I was nearly halfway home and found that I continued to be amused by the movement of the rock. I was intrigued that it was always a mystery on whether or not the rock would decide to go right, left, jump up, or stay down.
The Swanson River
By Madison Vershum
The Swanson River in Kenai, Alaska is a well kept secret; held by the locals that surround it. It’s long, winding, cold, occasionally shallow and a great place to take a canoe trip that lasts way past the promised “six hours”.
When I was a mere thirteen year old tomboy, with spaghetti noodle arms and bad eyesight, my parents told me and my two siblings that we were going to Alaska to visit dear old Poppa and Grandmama. I excitedly packed (unfortunately an excessive amount of pants), jumped in the car, and didn’t even realize I forgot my glasses until I was ten thousand feet in the air.… Continue reading.
The Creek At Council Park Point
By Megan Payter
The Creek at Council Park Point was as place teenagers commonly used as a quiet, offset hangout spot. The Creek had watched Alicia grow up and she had always seen the murky water as a safe place. The water had witnessed the first time she caught a fish, the anxiety fill moment when she learned how to ride her bike, and had shared butterflies with her when she was kissed by the boy she had been crushing on for ages. While some people might think it is weird to call a body of water a friend, Alicia couldn’t think of the creek as anything else.… Continue reading.
Moving To The United States
By Jessica Gallardo
When I was five-years-old, my parents and I moved to California from Mexico. Entering first grade and not able to speak the language was hard because I was not able to communicate with anyone besides my parents. I remember my classmates looked at me funny since I sounded different and could not understand what the teacher said. Being six-years-old, I felt judged by my classmates because I was different. On top of not being able to speak English, I got picked on for my height. I got lonely because I wanted friends to play jump rope and handball with during recess time.… Continue reading.
A Horse At A Stop Sign
By Ronni Perry
The name’s Ronni. I am in fact a female (with a guy’s name, yes) and ‘Ronni’ isn’t short for anything. It’s kind of crazy and weird, but my mom decided to give all 6 of my sisters and I boy’s names. I guess she was just wishing she had a boy!
Moving on… I am seventeen years of age and just recently came in contact with this great “social media” that everyone talks about. I have to admit, it is quite great; however, I am a die hard “let’s talk face-to-face”, “experience new things”, “let’s go outside” type of person.… Continue reading.
By Steven Proudfoot
As I grew up, I have had a unique feeling of belonging to more than one place. I grew up in Michigan. The town I grew up in was relatively small one, a perfect little chunk of suburbia, but any time we could, we drove up north to visit my grandparents who lived on private property in the woods near Reed City. This left me feeling like some sort of city-boy and country-kid hybrid. I could have gotten into any number of activities in a number of different communities, be it in an urban or a rural community.
Instead of participating in the world around me, I kept my head down and kept my nose in my Gameboy.… Continue reading.
Stories From A Small Town
By Anne Mertens
The sun shone over the trees and sparkled on the river. Emily squinted and shaded her face.
“Come on, Emily!” Hannah exclaimed, tugging on Emily’s elbow, “Mrs. Harris says the tour’s about to start.”
Down the sloping riverbank road, a green dragon clattered and smoked towards the school group as Emily’s class gathered around Mrs. Harris and prepared to board. Well, it wasn’t really a dragon, but as the trolley lurched to a stop in front of Emily, she thought the diesel fumes and throaty engine were dragonish.
Emily mounted the tall trolley steps behind Ben and Hannah. The steps weren’t built for short legs, but Emily managed to struggle up.… Continue reading.
A Day At The Zoo
By Brandon Underwood
One day, my mother and I went to the Toledo Zoo in Detroit, Michigan. The car ride seemed relatively short, even though I knew it was about a six hour ride, especially because our purple only drove upwards to the side. Our purple got amazing gas mileage—12 miles per quarter gallon, so we got to the zoo without making any stops, except for the six we had to make for me to urinate.
When we got there, we noticed that the lines were extremely long, more so than the lines at the DMV, yet we got our tickets quickly because some random stranger decided to give his to us.… Continue reading.
By Hailey Voth
When you first see a river, you know respect. The ocean is big, but utterly impersonal and almost lazy in the way it pushes waves around, just getting on with its business. A thunderstorm is a terrifying flash, it flings rain around like insults, then moves on. There’s something safe in how uncaring the ocean is as well as in how much the storm cares. But a river is something more, a mix of power and amused indifference, like it could eat you without opening its mouth but it’d rather just be friends. You’re as likely to get swallowed as you are to be licked, and you can never tell until it’s happened which it’s going to be.… Continue reading.
The Perfection Amidst Turmoil
By Numra Jumani
Early mornings were always my favorite, even though most of the time I wasn’t awake to see them – but today was somehow different. The picturesque scene in front of me made it impossible to even think about leaving. The water wasn’t perfect; it wasn’t as blue as the sky on a cloudless day. It was sound however, with waves lapping against the dock just barely reaching my resting feet. The sky, shades of purple and orange, from the sun that was just beginning to rise added to the beauty of this early morning. A cool breeze against my bare arms caused me to wrap my hands tighter around my body, sinking my chin deeper into my knees.… Continue reading.
The Three Brother Bears
By Alyssa Lloid
Long, long ago, in the time of the Animals and Great Spirit, there were three brother bears. All three were a rich brown in color and their names were Inuit, Seminole, and Iroquois. But not all of the brothers were pleased with the brown color of their fur.
Inuit for example, hated his brown fur, for he was a very clean bear and the brown color always seemed dirty to him. He longed for a lush coat that was brilliantly white in color. One day as he was walking through his forest home he stopped at a stream to look at his reflection.… Continue reading.
The Lost Planet
By Alexandria Feldman
Have you ever wondered what dreams are? What they really are? Are they simply memories tossed together lacking purpose or any hint of artful conception? Or is it feasible that these dreams whisper sinister premonitions of days to come or disclose the mysteries of those long past? In retrospect, I am now able to fully grasp the concept that our dreams are more than mere nonsense. You see, in my dreams, I saw a realm that was so unnervingly close to our own that the two could have only been separated by a fraction of a millimeter. The eventual collision of these two dimensions was inevitable.… Continue reading.
The First Step To Getting Out Of A Hole
By Savanna Swift
Sometimes in life you find yourself in a hole and the best solution is to stop digging, but you don’t always know how. At a fairly young age my mother became extremely ill with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), and with her bed ridden in the ICU for months and my father working overtime just to keep a roof over our heads, as the eldest, it was innate – I needed to step up and help with my younger siblings. Not having my mom around was beyond difficult and my dad, the nest best thing, failed to be present at home.… Continue reading.
Paradise, Michigan A Small Town
By Elizabeth Oller
Everyone in my family was excited to finally be going on our ‘much overdo’ vacation as mom has been calling it for almost a year now. Dad had been working seven days a week as a restaurant manager in Detroit as far back as I can remember; which really is not all that long as I am only eight years old. I am the oldest with a younger brother, Matt, and sister, Beth or Little Bit as we call her. Mom and Dad have been talking about how we as a family need to get away, far away from the hectic fast life in the big city.… Continue reading.
Lily Rose Petal
Terribly grief stricken by the choices of her past, Lily Rose Petal of a magical town named Werally in Washington, chooses to move on through faith in her older brother Johanson. Johanson John Petal, always did what was right, he came back to the flower garden on time, he washed his hands before supper, and helped his mother in all that she did. He valued time with his family and the beauty of life in it’s natural state. Lily always admired her older brother. How could he love so fully, without any intention of straying from the garden that his parents grew him in?… Continue reading.
The Pike’s Family Vacation
By Matthew Pike
Family trips are full of memories, laughs, frustrations, and adventure. Every single trip I go on with my crew of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, a brother, and my parents is always bound to have a hiccup or two in it. Let’s just say that our 2015 summer trip, that was going to cover seven different states, was no exception. With twelve members of my family ranging from ages 10 to 70, we all have that same last name in common, “Pike,” but it is our differences that make an almost two week trip full of national landmarks, countless hours driving, and stressful deadlines to meet each day chocked full of excitement.… Continue reading.
By Ashley Wardle
When I was thirteen years old my family moved to a small country in South America called Suriname. While living there, my mom helped an organization known as the Green Heritage Fund that would go into the rainforest and rescue sloths from the trees which were being knocked down to pave way for new buildings and homes.
My mom helped go on these missions into the rainforest a few times, and one time she finally let me join her. I remember how crazy it all seemed when I pulled up to construction zone. In a third-world country where you see very few technological advances I had not expected to see so many bulldozers and cranes.… Continue reading.
The Magic Of A Small Town
By Sandra Riggs
There is magic in growing up in a small town. It’s not the magic of witches and wizards. It’s the magic of people who work together, live together, and forever try to make things better. If you’ve ever seen a small town host a benefit for a child with cancer, you will never again doubt that the magic exists.
There is magic when neighbors come together to celebrate a holiday. Small town parades are often so large that they can be bigger than the audience that is watching it. Everyone salutes the flag when it goes by, age doesn’t matter.… Continue reading.
Freak On A Leash
By Takiel Gibson
As a small child, parents have always taught their little bundle of joy never to wander around in the store, to always stick by them like super glue, and if need be, always hold their hand. Of course, there is no guarantee that the child will ever follow this simple rule willingly. Almost always, it requires disobedience and/or a life-changing experience to either set the child straight or make the parent take drastic measures in the future. This is the perfect summary as to the event that occurred in a New York Macy’s Department Store when I was four years old.… Continue reading.
Honey Comb With Just A Little Milk?
By Jasmine Holloway
You sit down next to me after pouring milk for my cereal. The carton is labeled moooo milk and it makes me think of your chins, long like the O’s and curved like the M. Your palms find your back like lotion on thirsty skin, then you say “hurry up” as if I could possibly finish my cereal with only a teaspoon of milk. One spoon full of honey combs dry, like your knees, in my mouth, so hard I could hear myself chew. I let a few combs swim in the pond until their backs were wet. They reach my mouth in one, two and that’s when you snatch the bowl away and for a second I wish it would fly out your hand to slow you down.… Continue reading.
The Power of Love and Respect
By Rozalyn Morauske
Dear Diary, (3/22/2013)
I can’t BELIEVE I have to do this!! It feels so awkward. Mrs. Post what are you thinking? Okay, today guess what assignment we have to do, granted I know it is valentine’s week, but we have to write two letters TO OUR PARENTS!! Mom’s is about how we love her and dad’s is about how much I respect him. I know that in my particular case I love mom and dad and… well I guess I respect him but why would he care. WHatEver. I just do it and get it over with.
You are a wonderful mother, (even though we fight like all the time) and I greatly appreciate all the help you have given me on projects (okay fine this is true) and the motherly wisdom you have given me over the years (much of which I either ignored or was actually useful… well… everything up until yesterday I guess ended up being much more true than I would like but her most recent advice is obviously ridiculous!) I love you so very much even when I do not always show it (just because this is true doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like a fresh slice of mozzarella cheese, this is what I was worried about)
Love your daughter,
Well that was strange but I guess I did mean everything I said it just…
Okay, moving on to dad.… Continue reading.
By Andrew Johnson
The Monster is stealthy, as the girl’s vulnerability is viciously exploited. Her responses are slow as she lazily drags herself off of the dampened cardboard her father calls a bed. She examines herself, the rich ebony skin she despises, now blanched. Inscriptions of red remind her of yesterday, the day before then, and so on. She then makes her way into the bathroom, although blurred vision hinders her momentarily as she scrubs away the morning’s adhesive from her eyes. Afterwards, she looks in the mirror, disgusted, as the Monster weaves itself into her mind to do its damage. The dingy gray dress, off-colored from years of wear, attempts to accompany her broad frame.… Continue reading.
By Hailey Johnston
I have 312 grandparents. I know each and every one of them by name, by their favorite drink, and their food allergies. I know that Lavelle loves butter pecan ice cream, even though he can’t eat pecans. Every Sunday during football season, I ask Lorraine, “Are the Seahawks going to win today?” She always responds, “Oh, of course!” I’ve grown to know and to care for each and every resident at the retirement home where I work, and I enjoy going to work to talk with them, but it wasn’t always that way.
I used to be so scared going to work.… Continue reading.
Black Lives Matter
By Joseph Manuszak
Long before slaving blistered over seared plantations, my ancestors were the bedrock to humanity. They engaged tribal wars for the glory of deities. They hunted beasts without burden. My ancestors sang of adrenalized night skies and danced to the rhythmic drumming of oiled skins and Serengeti cries. They worked for each other reigning unabated autonomy as ancient bonfires blazed the fear of old-world shetani from the confines of their spiritual journey … and I exist in them.
Shipped like cargo to the new world, their southern songs reaped the autumn blood moon’s harvest; as property toiling on property itself, they sang of sweat and love and God above.… Continue reading.
The Small Town Dream
By Madison Hukins
Once upon a time, there lived a little blonde headed girl named Madison. She grew up on the banks of Bayou Rouge in a small town named Cottonport. No red lights, no fast food restaurants, and no speed limit over 45 miles per hours are an indicator that you have entered Cottonport. Madison didn’t let this hinder her as you could usually find her cheering for her favorite team, the Panthers, or playing softball with her friends. As busy as she kept herself, something was missing. Madison wanted more. She always dreamed of working in the medical field. But how could this small town girl achieve such a big endeavor?… Continue reading.
Kanpai’s Adventures With Pancake
By Chellsei Hays
Kanpai sat in the middle of the forest, crisscross and with her eyes closed. She felt the breeze caress her skin, carrying with it the smell of the ocean. She inhaled deeply and a smile graced her lips as she heard the sounds of the forest, her mind taking her back to when she first met Akito and all the events that followed thereafter, a few tears touching her cheeks. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye to her friends, but she knew it had to be done even though she didn’t quite know why. She hadn’t had friends in a very long time, but now that she had tasted the beautiful thing that was friendship, she was abhorrent to let it go and she wouldn’t forget those who helped her through her small adventure.
By Thalia Rivera
Finally arriving back home, from yet another awful visitation day spent with my father, I saw there lying in bed sick, my wonderful mother. I was so happy to be home, yet so sad to see my mother in her last days of life. I walked in gave her a hug and a kiss, and at that time did not think about her leaving this earth anytime soon. I ate food my aunt had made and began to play the Wii.
I’m into my game of tennis, when I hear the nurse calling for my grandma, aunt, and cousin.… Continue reading.
By Sydney Hatfield
I thought I was going to die. I had the taste of blood in my throat and every breath was tearing up my lungs. I wanted to quit. I wanted to fake an injury just so I didn’t have to run anymore, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Of course this was almost every race I ran, but something was different about this one. I learned something very valuable that cool, windy, November afternoon; something I would carry with me for the rest of my life. Failure can be your best accomplishment.
As the bus approached the stop my heart dropped to my stomach.… Continue reading.
The Zombie Apocalypse
By Brady Yarbrough
My name is Brady Yarbrough, I’m 17 years old, I live in Santa Paula, California, I go to Buena High School and the zombie apocalypse. Scientists were working on a cure for terminal cancer patients. Although cancer was cured in the body, the cells began to rapidly break down and put the patient’s heart into a stasis. The person was still technically alive, but lacked any capability to speak or see. The patients were considered brain dead. After about three months, patient zero broke free from her holding cell using brute strength. She had no pulse and was faster and stronger than an average person.… Continue reading.
Life Of An Immigrant Student
By Abida Khanom
I immigrated to the United States of America from Bangladesh with my family 6 years ago. This country has been quite unusual compared to where I came from. Everything has completely changed for me. I had difficulties adapting myself to the the environments, rules, regulations, and especially with speaking English on a daily basis. The country I came from is Bangladesh and we speak in a different language than English. The language we speak in Bangladesh is Bangla. The struggles I had to face on learning how to speak English when I started school as a new immigrant were inconvenient interactions, inability to cooperate in group discussions, and getting disheartening comments.… Continue reading.
My Small Town Story
By Stephanie Hughes
Today, I would like to tell you a little about our small town of Glasgow in which we lived in for just short of two years. The only reason why we moved away was for the mere fact that it is a Railroad town or a Farmer town and my husband was furloughed from the Railroad. Anyhow, back to my small town.
For years, I wanted to hunt. I was a great shot and loved the thought of hunting. The only drawback was that our children were always younger and I never had anyone to watch them so I could join my husband in hunting.… Continue reading.
Transition To Adulthood
By Seth Martin
If you ask my mother, or pretty much anyone in my family, they’d claim that I was an adult ready to take on the world by the time I was three. Moving around as much as I have, traveling the world, has only accelerated the maturity. Middle school nor high school held much if any interest to me by the time I got there. They’ve always made me feel railroaded and restricted. I’ve never got to really learn and practice the things I am most interested in. A chance to do my own thing. Not nearly to the extent I would have liked anyway.
The Oregon Trail
By Tracy Polega
If you are a certain age, a good deal of your childhood days were spent traversing the Oregon Trail. Not literally, of course, but figuratively: It was one of the most successful games played during the early age of computers. History teachers wrote The Oregon Trail as a way to get their students interested in the history of the United States. Surprisingly, it worked, and became one of the most popular games of its time.
I am a part of that group of children that spent a lot of my time traveling out West on the Oregon Trail. Not only figuratively, but also in a literal sense.… Continue reading.
The Right Choice
By Devan Keys
“Chamomile” I told my mother. “Ask them if they have any chamomile tea.”
It was the day before the first day of the rest of my life, and my stomach was far more uneasy than it’d ever been before. I sat uneasily in the Hotel’s firm white cushion chair of the musty room my bridal party was staying in. Chamomile tea was a home remedy my mother always used for my sisters and I whenever we felt sick as little girls. “You’ll feel better before you can say onomatopoeia” she’d say. Which was almost always true, considering none of us could pronounce the word.… Continue reading.
All Judy Needs Is Fifteen Minutes
By Lisha Southern
Judy has always been a looker, though walking down the streets of Wilderbee Trailer Park, it’s hard not to be. Her brown hair falls effortlessly across her freckled covered shoulders. It has a natural wave to it. Her eyes are deep and brown-green. Her skin is pale, like the color of milk with melted ice would be. Judy always wears red lipstick to contrast her pale skin. If she didn’t, you would mistake her for a mannequin. She is old-school Hollywood. Judy really wants is to meet a gorgeous man, become a star and move to the city.
Judy gets most of her looks from her father, or at least she assumes.… Continue reading.
Deceiving At Its Finest
By Halima Sarama
Should we thank those who deceive us? Forgiving someone who deceived you is quickly deemed as impossible. Trusting others will become more difficult and will leave you second guessing your words and actions. Loneliness consumes us and leads us to believing we did something wrong to be deceived, causing us to forgive the people who deceived us at times. But why does being deceived quickly cloud our emotions and respond with anger and hatred? Could being deceived be a positive things in our life instead of a negative one?
The scariest part about deception is that it arrives unexpected.… Continue reading.
A True Hero
By Amal Sarama
What makes a person a hero? Is it having supernatural powers or is it the act of bravery one does. Does everyone have the ability to be a hero? Is everyone a hero within themselves already or do you need a supernatural power in order to be called a hero?
One day Hailey and I were discussing our favorite superheroes and the many powers they have. I began asking Hailey various questions about superheroes. “Hailey, what does it take to be a hero? Is a hero defined from its supernatural powers or can anyone be a hero?” Hailey began telling me a story about when she felt as if she was a hero.… Continue reading.
By Keaton Wade
Story telling in a small town could be an extremely persuasive way for an elder to get a point across to the younger generations of children. In the modern world of America today we notice that not many children participate in story telling anymore. Many children of this generation use phones and computers as their main way of communication. Living in a small town; however you could see that children listen to stories that their grandparents enjoy telling, but without even noticing it the children all learned exemplary behavior from them. Personally story telling has had a very substantial impact on my life.… Continue reading.
Life Of The Freak
By Jordan Pierite
Started off when I was younger in elementary school a lot of people use to pick on me, The only people I had to listen to my problems was the closest people around me and that was my mama, daddy, and my brother. People always told me don’t let foolishness get to your head but after to much of it a lot of anger built up. After a while times got worst, I was in the middle the of my 5th grade school year then I lost my sister. Being that I was already going thru problems at school losing someone close to me didn’t make things any better.… Continue reading.
The Come Up
By Towan Dailey
Growing up without a dad with him being in Angola State Prison was hard for a young boy like me to grow up with only a mom to raise me, I have never seen him before. Coming up with seven siblings and only a two bedroom house was not easy. Being the oldest was hard, I had no space no privacy no anything but then again I could not complain because I understood how hard my mom tried to raise one child alone having bills and food to put in the house. Now she’s married, she’s been married for 2 years now and I can honestly say she’s progressing more and more on raising seven kids, I am now 18 years old so I am a man of my own now.… Continue reading.
Things That Taught Me A Lesson
By Jordan Mayeaux
The things that taught me a lesson in life are really important to me. I appreciate them very much because I am a better person now than I was back then when I was not taught a lesson. The things that taught me a lesson are baseball, working, and hunting.
Baseball. The reason why baseball taught me a lesson in life is because it taught me to respect other people and my teammates. I learned the way of the game which is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. It is a game of failure and I like it that way because you try harder the next game to succeed and not fail.… Continue reading.
All Because Of One Day
By Mariah Blanchard
The helicopter parent, this is a parent that is much like a helicopter always hovering overhead, constantly giving input on their child’s experiences, and never fully letting go. A lot of teens hate when their parents are like this, not Joi. Joi is an eighteen year old Caucasian boy, he is a senior at ShortsDalle High School. He is a regular guy trying to achieve his life goal of being a lawyer. Joi has dreamed of going to Harvard Law School since he was ten years old. The only problem is he cannot afford it. Knowing this he worked hard all through high school to achieve an academic scholarship.… Continue reading.
Home Away From Home
By Seth Johnson
Moving from Dallas, a big city, to Louisiana, was a bit of a letdown. When I was born, in Alexandria, then later moved to Dallas for a better education and my dad’s job. Dallas is where I would say I grew up. I went to my first real school and had teenage responsibilities. When I was told that we were moving I was more than frustrated, but there was nothing I could do. It is not fair that most teenagers have no say in adult decisions, even though those decisions will affect them.
Life is not going to give you everything you want on a silver platter, you have to strive for what you want to achieve.… Continue reading.
American Small Town
By Lucas Dantas
Being an Exchange student is leaving everything you know and everything you lived behind to open you heart for new experiences. It is leaving your safe zone, leaving your parents sight, to a whole new life started from scratch. It is a hard thing for any human being, drastically changing your life, being by yourself in a different country, learning how to deal with problems and adapt to different environments. Being an exchange student in a small town is a very amazing challenge.
Growing up in Brazil, in a city of 2.5 million people, 8,000 miles, and a very complex big city lifestyle, I decided to go on an exchange program in the USA.… Continue reading.
If Heaven Had Visiting Hours
By Brooke Normand
“Have you ever lost someone you really loved?” Today I am going to tell you about a tragic time in my life when I was just eleven years old.
On October 5, 2010 my mom got a tragic phone call from the funeral home. At approximately one o’clock pm my grandparents came to pick me up from school. When I got home my mom was crying, I sat on my uncles lap, my mom looked at me and says “I have something to tell you.” I then asked her “what is it?” She then replies “I just got a phone call from the funeral home, your dad committed suicide last night at nine-thirty.” On October 4, 2010 I had lost my dad, the one man that meant everything to me.… Continue reading.
Losing A Loved One
By Hope Dauzat
Do you ever wish that you could remember everything about a certain person in your childhood? Losing someone you love is probably one of the worst feelings in the world.
On Saturday February 9th, 2008 was probably one of the worst days of my life. I was a 10 year old having a good time at the zoo with a friend when the call came in. This call would change my life forever. I did not know why my friend’s mom was rushing us through the zoo.
On the way back home, we did not stop at my house; we went straight to the hospital.… Continue reading.
By Julie Egan
As the cool stream flowed gently across her bare feet, Emily stared wistfully at the stones fighting for position just beneath her toes. Summer had finally arrived and the warm sun placed its loving hand gently across the back of her neck.
She had just finished her first year of college and was happy to be home for the summer. The hustle and bustle of the busy college town had worn her out and she lavished in the soft grass and sweet scents that surrounded her.
“Hey Em” she heard a familiar voice behind her, but did not turn to look.… Continue reading.
The Hope and Determination
By Samantha Gardner
Once there was a boy named Koth. He lived in a time where magic was an unknown but compelling aspect of life. Some people feared magic, some people used it, either for good or for bad. Koth lived with his family who travelled caravan that performed and traveled for money. Many folks loved watching plays that had to do with myths and legends and this is why him and his family got paid and sponsored by many lords and dukes. One night this all changed. Changed the course of Koth’s life forever.
Koth’s father and mother were song and play writers.… Continue reading.
By Maci Joy Horner
Sitting in the middle of my chaotic room with ideas floating in the air and frustration in the flawed strokes staring back at me, I am consumed. Swallowed yet swimming in wonder and reality; set free yet bound by every opportunity that presents itself to my mediums. I look up to find it all around me. It’s clear in that moment how I adore and despise the mess that is my creativity. While some days the mess is my joy, other days I lose myself in it. I was lost when he knocked on my door.
One Wednesday night when my dad came to pick me up from youth group, I slipped into the back seat and the complaint spilled out of my mouth, “I think I lost my favorite pink pen.”
“Do you know where you left it?”
“Oh there’s no telling.… Continue reading.
By Megan Whiteley
He’s heard about it for forever and a day. The colors and lights bring a whirlwind of emotions. They dazzle even the most bad-mannered of men. Love is brought here to flourish and grow. Children laugh and play all through the night. The circus has arrived.
Josh knew the circus meant a day off of work. He had been working hard at the mill, and his hands seemed to be permanently black. All of his friends would be there. He knew that for sure. But all he could think about was the sweet taste of a candy apple. It was going to glorious.… Continue reading.
The Story of My Future
By Dylan Flores
Hello, my name is Dylan Flores. I am currently in my second semester of a six semester Bachelor’s program at Boise State University.
A small business owner has hugely impacted me, so much so that it is how I came about choosing my major and my future career as a small business owner. My father is the one that influenced me to do this. He started his company RespXchange Inc. in Benicia, California (my hometown); this company repairs medical equipment in the respiratory field. Such as respirators, oxygen concentrators and CPAP machines. I worked with him at his business all throughout my high school life and even a couple years after that, until I transferred to Boise State.… Continue reading.
By Oksana Larsen
It’s been a long time since I have been to this unusual place, a place so different from others, where time stands still and the modern world has no influence. It’s the place where my sweetest memories were born.
It’s twilight. Another beautiful autumn day is coming to an end. Foliage covers the ground like a warm golden blanket. It feels as though I stepped into a fairy tale and I can feel the magic, it’s all around me. I can’t resist running through the piles of leaves on the side of the road. They are like miniature mountains of gold, cherry red and deep yellow, and I make them crunch and fly under my feet, as I gush through them.… Continue reading.
That Old Truck
By Abigail Moriarty
The school bell rings and the students hustle their way to a parking lot that holds more trucks than any other vehicle. These trucks aren’t just to look pretty these trucks are the life lines of these families. These are the trucks that haul hay out to the cattle or take them the hour drive to town. It’s the only vehicle that family has and they would not trade it for a BMW.
This truck has seen the Thompson’s oldest son Benny take Ms. Amy to prom. This truck has been backed up to that bonfire in the middle of that cattle pasture with all his friends coming from all over town and everyone knows to shut the gate and to watch out for the bull.… Continue reading.
A Trip to Uncle Mal’s
By Joseph VanBuhler
The sun had just broken over the crest of his unkempt bed of mountains, peeking his flaming head through his cloudy cumulonimbus blinds to gaze out over the Chicago skyline. The air was charged with the fresh scent of clean rain, and the pleasant ethereal mist that occasionally accompanies it. Spring was most certainly in the air, and on that otherworldly morn I sat contentedly outside a nice little java-joint, sipping on a well-blended Earl Grey and enjoying a “subtle use of vocal harmony” Pandora claimed I was listening to.
I’d arrived in town yesterday and traffic on I-96 was horrible.… Continue reading.
Into The Woods: A Self Reflective Journey Of Who I Am
A young girl ambitious and naive knew about the state of the environment but did not understand what she could do about it. As part of a Human Ecology Capstone project, she was asked to study how humans connect with the natural world. She realized that in order to see how the whole human race interacts with nature, she first needed to understand how she connected with the woods. Her project ended up being a reflective journey to find herself, how she fits into the community around her, and how she saw herself in the natural world by writing everything in a journal.… Continue reading.
By Alexis Bray
Why does time pass so quickly when we are enjoying ourselves, while it passes by so slowly when we are suffering of something such as boredom or pain? Why does the clock decide it is time to tick slower than faster? “I bet it’s a trick life plays on us to keep us on our toes”, my grandfather once told me. “Maybe it is a trick of the day the universe does revolve around you. It revolves around everyone! Everyone is caught up in their own little universes. So to pay the price, the time passes at different speeds in each of our own universes!”
My grandfather was a wise man.… Continue reading.
The dang ol’ thang
By Todd Scott
“Fine, I’m up, you cocka-doodle-douchebag,” he says as he rubs the ‘tired’ from his eyes, “how’d I even end up on this God forsaken farm?” He stares at the ceiling of the single room while the ever punctual rooster does his daily routine from out behind the century old farmhouse. He was fully aware of why he was there, and of what he did to get himself there, he just wasn’t willing to admit it to himself. Nor was he willing to admit anything to some two bit Judge, in some half bit town. So when he got caught stealing horses from local stables, he wouldn’t plea to guilt.… Continue reading.
By Lindsey Hart
Walking out of the liquor store, a fresh pack of smokes in my pocket, I fumbled to put my striped gloves on. The wind whipped my face. I gritted my teeth and walked onward towards salvation, the warm building at the end of a snowy vortex. Ahead of me, I saw a hexagonal formation of traffic cones obstructing the quickly approaching sidewalk. No caution tape or signage denoted their purposeful placement in my path, so I walked through them despite the vague apprehension that made my stomach churn as I passed between the orange pillars.
As my boot crunched the gravel beneath my sole, the ground canoed ahead of me as if I’d split the red sea.… Continue reading.
Net Price Calculator
By Kathryn Bryan
Just by inhaling your first breath, you open the book of life and discover what the Author has written on the first page, catching a glimpse of the people you have been chosen to be bound to through genes. Some feel shorthanded as the pages of this book continue to turn, with uncaring relatives, while others are overwhelmingly blessed.
Home is our mental and physical base, no matter the family, in which the outer workings of the world are revealed to us with each lesson, and from which we are sent forth to imprint the best piece of ourselves onto this ancient planet.… Continue reading.
Poppy – Little Anglo
By Toni Orrill
John made his way down river to the clearing, his chest young and bare. He liked to play savage, his stick, a homemade weapon he whittled into a sharp point. He studied the birds in the tree, watching the bluebird flit in a nervous rapture, and he dreamed of killing that bird. It would be his first.
At his age, most boys had killed something. A deer, a squirrel or his preference, a bird. The one lesson that thrust a boy into manhood was that first bolt of power, adrenaline striking the adolescent frame like a match to fire starter, the feeling of man’s mighty force overcoming something lesser, or weaker.… Continue reading.
Rainy Days, Big Pecans & Cardboard Boxes
By Claire Lemoine
My parents were the absolute antithesis of helicopter parents.
Coined in the 21st century, the term “helicopter parent” refers to a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead, always constantly giving input on a child’s experiences, and never fully letting go.
I’m pretty sure that “helicopter parenting” did not even exist in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana, in the small town where I grew up, in the 1970s and 1980s. There was no rescuing. There was no hovering. My two older brothers and I had to make our own fun. … Continue reading.
Lucky Me: A Girl With Four Brothers
By Crystal Guidry
I like to think my childhood was like many others, filled with a beautiful mixture of chaos, love, dysfunction and sometimes physical pain.
I am the second oldest of five children, and lucky me, the only girl. If I am being honest, growing up with four brothers could be an annoying pain in the you-know-what sometimes.
When my parents announced that my youngest sibling would be a boy, I must admit I cried – A LOT. I knew that was my last chance at having a sister and I would forever be outnumbered by dirty boys.
Our current ages span from 25-34 and sometimes I still think I am their mama.… Continue reading.
Congratulations, Christmas. You’ve Made Me A Psycho.
By Laura Knoll
It is two days before Christmas, and I cannot help but feel like Christmas has been warped, and like I am warping it for my children. Everywhere I turn, the emphasis has shifted to commercial concerns, and away from the true ideals and magic which Christmas used to embody for me as a child, growing up. The timeless Christmas spirit has been supplanted by acquiring more STUFF, giving presents that no one actually needs, and portraying wealth or happiness on social media. As a mother of small children, I feel like all I do during the month of December is try to incentivize good behavior for one month out of the year via tools like the elf on the shelf, or Santa Claus “apps”.… Continue reading.
Why Kids Still Need The Cubs
By Jed Cain
I’m a child of WGN. The 1980’s version. I grew up 890 miles away from Chicago. But the wonders of cable television transported me to Wrigley Field.
My Sandlot-like summers were filled with bicycles, baseballs, and swimming pools. Afternoon Cubs games were consumed during mom-mandated breaks from the Louisiana heat. Harry Carey narrated my childhood between Budweiser commercials.
Looking back on it now, I should have been a Braves fan. The Braves were televised on TBS and actually won. My adolescence would have been more pleasant if managed by the steady hand of Bobby Cox.
But that’s not how love works.… Continue reading.
Louisiana: Broke But Not ‘Breaking Bad’
By Jed Cain
It’s fashionable to be down on Louisiana these days.
We’re in a tough spot. A budget deficit of $1.6 billion. The contraction of the oil and gas industry. LSU’s plunging credit rating.
Amidst such problems, our Governor awkwardly flirts with presidential primary voters in far off places. His preoccupation with the Republican presidential nomination drags Louisiana into distracting debates ranging from alleged Muslim “no-go” zones in Europe to legalized bigotry in the name of Jesus Christ.
The gravity of our economic problems, coupled with our most visible leader’s propensity for distraction, might lead some to believe that Louisiana is “breaking bad.”
We’re undoubtedly broke.… Continue reading.
A Prelude To Steel Magnolias: Natchitoches Christmas Belles
By Jed Cain
Small towns breed great stories. Stories filled with facts and sprinkled with flavor. Most of these stories are told at parties or family gatherings. But every now and then, there’s a story that’s just too good not to write down.
The story of Natchitoches’ Miss Merry Christmas and the Christmas Belles is one of those stories. The beauty and virtue that these titles represent deserve to be viewed in the proper context as our cultural attitudes about gender continue to evolve. In many ways they represent small town, Southern traditions that have become increasingly misunderstood.
I married a Natchitoches Christmas Belle.… Continue reading.
Blue Thursday vs. Black Friday: The Fight For Thanksgiving
By Jed Cain
Time magazine reported that 12% of Black Friday shoppers will be shopping drunk. I’m not exactly sure how Time came up with that statistic. But the image of drunk bargain shoppers charging through Bed Bath & Beyond snatching up massage chairs and single serving coffee machines just makes me smile.
In less amusing, but perhaps more important news, Time also reported that 70% of Americans believe that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving to allow workers to spend time with their families.
Getting 70% of Americans to agree on just about anything these days is pretty impressive. Nevertheless, despite our consensus, many large retailers will remain open on Thursday.… Continue reading.
Mediating Louisiana Personal Injury Cases
By Jed Cain
Lawyers and courtrooms have always been popular fodder for television shows and movies. Overly dramatic cross-examinations and closing arguments have romanticized the concept of the jury trial.
Many personal injury litigants who have seen Hollywood’s spin on our legal system, expect their case to be resolved in the courtroom by way of a dramatic jury trial. A trial can be an intimidating exercise for litigants situated on either side of a personal injury lawsuit. Most clients are surprised to learn that the vast majority of cases are settled before a trial actually takes place.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a broad category of practices and procedures used by lawyers and judges to resolve lawsuits without the necessity of a full-blown trial.… Continue reading.
Feral Hogs, Nutria Rats, and Nick Saban
By Jed Cain
After watching LSU lose another heartbreaker to Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, it got me thinking about feral hogs and nutria rats. That’s right – feral hogs and nutria rats.
What do feral hogs, nutria rats, and Nick Saban have in common? They drive the people of Louisiana absolutely crazy. Try as we might, those varmints just seem to stay one-step ahead of us.
Did you know that there are believed to be over 500,000 feral hogs running around Louisiana tearing up valuable farmland? Wild hogs do more than $1 billion worth of damage to farms nationwide.
The problem with feral hogs is that they rapidly reproduce.… Continue reading.
Geaux Vote – Even If You Don’t Want To Encourage Them.
By Jed Cain
I had a political science professor in college who claimed that he no longer voted. It was kind of sad. But when asked why, his response was simple – “It only encourages them.”
For those of us that have lived through the 2014 election cycle in Louisiana, we can sympathize with the sentiment of not wanting to encourage them. Millions of dollars have been dumped into our state in an effort to reduce our two major U.S. Senate candidates to little more than WrestleMania characters. If you believe the crap that you see on TV being peddled by these outside groups, we’re essentially choosing between Hulk Hogan and Hack Saw Jim Duggan.… Continue reading.
5 Reasons Why Our Kids Are Cooler Than Us
By Jed Cain
My wife and I have come to the realization that our kids are cooler than us. It’s painful to admit. We expected it to happen much later in life. But they just seemed to come out that way. We had very little to do with it.
So here’s a game we accidentally developed when I flippantly said one night, “Man, I wish I were as cool as our kids.” My wife and I have found great joy in this little game. You can play it if you want. The next time your kids do something that makes you smile and just shake your head, say this out loud – “Man, I wish I were as cool as (insert kid’s name).”
It’s great.… Continue reading.
Louisiana Oil Spill Culprit No Stranger To Problems On Pipeline
By Jed Cain
One of the unfortunate legacies of the BP oil spill is that big oil spills just don’t seem that big anymore. When viewed within the context of BP, just about every spill seems small. That’s unfortunate.
Four years after residents of south Louisiana watched BP’s oil wash up along the coast, their neighbors to the north now face similar problems. Last week, an estimated 4,000 barrels (168,000 gallons) of crude oil spilled from the Mid-Valley Pipeline into a 4-mile stretch of the Tete Bayou in rural Caddo Parish. The 65-year-old pipeline, owned by Sunoco Logistics, carries up to 280,000 barrels of crude oil per day, approximately 1,000 miles from Longview, Texas to Samaria, Michigan.… Continue reading.
Snot Marks On Suit Pants – A Gift Our Kids Give Us
By Jed Cain
Two little dried snot marks on my suit pants. Just above the right knee. That’s what I noticed in the seconds before the judge read the jury’s verdict aloud. I grinned inside at the thought of my toddler son tootling around the kitchen. I couldn’t pin point the exact moment when I let my guard down long enough for his snotty little nose to swipe my pants. But I was sure that he was the culprit.
I make it a habit to cross my legs and fold my hands in my lap as I wait. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m a little superstitious.… Continue reading.
What Do Hospitals Owe Nurses That Contract Ebola?
By Jed Cain
For those of us that are married to nurses, this week’s announcement that two of our own tested positive for Ebola was alarming. Our loved ones stand at the forefront of the fight against a growing epidemic and reports indicate that many hospitals may be unequipped to protect them.
While specific details about how the Texas nurses contracted the virus have not been released, Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, blamed a “breach of protocol” at the Dallas based hospital for the first cases of person-to-person transmission of the virus in the U.S.
The results of an online survey recently commissioned by National Nurses United reveal that many such alleged Ebola “protocols” either do not exist or are not being properly communicated to nurses.… Continue reading.
From Leprosy To Ebola: Louisiana & The Law Of Quarantine.
By Jed Cain
The American news media is currently enthralled in all things Ebola.
The Ebola obsession comes on the heels of last week’s announcement by the CDC that the first United States’ case of Ebola was diagnosed in Dallas, Texas. Thomas Duncan, a native of West Africa, traveled from Liberia to Dallas on September 20, 2014 and fell ill on September 24th. Upon developing symptoms consistent with Ebola, Mr. Duncan sought treatment from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital on September 26th and was admitted to the hospital on September 28th. After completing the necessary diagnostic tests, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on September 30th, that Mr.… Continue reading.
Louisiana’s Rising Tide Of Bayou Millennials
By Jed Cain
Born in the fourth quarter of 1979, my wife and I barely made the cut as Gen Xers. We were almost part of the much talked about Millennial generation. Generational date markers are inherently loose and subjective. Maybe we are Millennials. These days we seem to live, love, and parent with one foot in each generation.
Generation X is commonly defined as those born between 1965 and 1979. We were the first generation of “latch key” kids. We came of age in the first real era of 2 income families. We watched as many families worked through the growing pains of this new dynamic.… Continue reading.
“You Got No Fear Of The Underdog. That’s Why You Will Not Survive.”
By Jed Cain
I’ve always been an avid sports fan. But never really a big sports memorabilia guy – with one important exception. Above my son’s bed hangs an autographed painting that depicts the single greatest sports moment of my lifetime.
On September 25, 2006, an undersized, no-name, special teamer broke through the Atlanta Falcons’ line and blocked a punt that led to the New Orleans’ Saints’ first touchdown in the Louisiana Superdome following Hurricane Katrina.
For those of us that lived through Hurricane Katrina, it’s hard to overstate the importance of that blocked punt in the story of the recovery of southeast Louisiana.… Continue reading.
Why Is There A Tortilla In The Middle Of The Living Room Floor?
By Jed Cain
The answer is obvious if I tell you that the owners of that living room have 3 kids.
It’s even more obvious if I tell you that the dad was left in charge of those kids for the day.
A “no brainer” if I tell you that it was the opening Saturday of the college football season.
Given those facts, it was inevitable that a tortilla would end up in the middle of the living room floor. In reality, how could it not? It was almost predetermined. But for some reason, it was hard to articulate the appropriate response to that question when posed by my wife upon her early return home one Saturday.… Continue reading.
Everybody Dies Famous In A Small Town – Especially My Barber
By Jed Cain
For those of us that had the pleasure of growing up in a small town, we understand the truth of Miranda Lambert’s hit song – “Everybody Dies Famous In A Small Town.”
She tells the tale of a small town life that lacks anonymity and values what some may mistakenly dismiss as the “little things.”
They say that life is so much sweeter
Through the telephoto lens of fame
Around here you get just as much attention
Cheerin’ at the high school football game
I dreamed of going to Nashville
Put my money down and placed my bet
But I just got the first buck of the season
I made the front page of the Turner Town Gazette
Whether you’re late for church
Or you’re stuck in jail
Hey, word’s going to get around
Everybody dies famous in a small town
The genius of the song is that it captures the tension of every little town. … Continue reading.