Mom lay listening to the looters shuffle by, wondering how she had ended up in a South American revolution 3,000 miles from home. None of it made any sense.
A version of this story, set in Bogotá, 1964, won the First Annual Palm Beach Country Short Story Contest in January, 2019. The entries needed to revolve around a lesson that illustrated integrity such as truth, justice, honesty, industry, or academic foundation. I hit of few of these.
About a week into the new year, Susie and I were playing when a clod of dirt came flying over the brick wall, narrowly missing Susie’s head. Hey!” I yelled. The wall was too high to see over. I jumped back as another clump of dirt soared into the air. I was getting mad now. “Ma, cosa fai?"
Sarah Miller's recounting of Charles Ingalls' pioneer dreams in Caroline: Little House Revisited could have been written about my father's Foreign Service passion.
If you're going to break The Christmas Rules, don't settle for a misdemeanor: go for a full-out felony.
The ground was sprinkled white by the time we pulled up to Mom’s childhood home on Wilson Street in Winona. It looked like the coating of powdered sugar from the Embassy commissary that Mom shook to over our Norwegian Christmas cookies.
There stood a witch. A long horrible nose quivered in the middle of a face framed by stringy black hair. She opened her mouth, revealing a few yellow teeth and dark holes where other teeth should have been.
I spent two years in New York City, Victoria. Then came the second summer, in 1952, when I was home in Winona on vacation. The young man who was to become your grandfather and I met again after having been apart for those two years .. and the rest, as they say, in another history.
“So, you’re cheating,” Mom said, sitting back against her chair. She looked at me, tapping her fingers on the chair arms for what seemed like a very long time. Then, she folded her arms in front of her chest. I waited for the other shoe to drop.
The nomadic life of my youth taught me four things: 1) be at home where you are; 2) let go when it's time; 3) settle in fast; and 4) forget there's anywhere else to be. This cycle puts you right back at 1) being at home where you are.