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Tag: Denver

Our American Values are Killing Us

Our American Values are Killing Us

On Wednesday evening, a man shot and killed three people inside a Wal-Mart in Thornton, Colorado. The victims were ordinary Americans doing the most American thing of all—shopping at a big box store in the suburbs. We don’t know if they were there to buy clothes for their children or groceries for their next meal. Maybe they were getting started on their Christmas shopping. The suspect in the shooting is also an ordinary American—a middle-aged white man with a string…

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In Praise of an Ordinary Marriage

In Praise of an Ordinary Marriage

I got married ten years ago today. I was never one of those women (or little girls) who dreamed of a big, elaborate wedding day. I never thought being married was a particularly lofty goal. Coupled or uncoupled, I intended to live a full life. But a decade into this joint venture with my husband and I think I got a pretty good deal. The husband is currently producing a travel series in Italy. Thus, he is gallivanting around Florence while I sit…

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Yes, We Have No Banana Pudding

Yes, We Have No Banana Pudding

I just returned from a month in Mississippi, the state were I was born and lived until I moved away at age 21. It was a deep immersion into a culture that influences me every day. The South drives my writing and changes the way I think about things. Mississippi shows up in my food preferences and my speech patterns. I suspect that will be true for as long as I live. But my post-Mississippi life has a strong influence too. For…

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Notes From a Skeptic

Notes From a Skeptic

I grew up in a blue household deep in red America. As a result, my social media feeds run purple. Unlike many of my friends in Colorado and Mississippi, I can’t count on a nonstop echo chamber for my views. Whatever I say, someone will disagree with and I’m okay with that. It’s not good for anyone to live in a cocoon of affirmation. Here are a few things I know to be true. Conservatives who feast on a steady diet of Fox…

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The Bad Guys Next Door

The Bad Guys Next Door

In 1997 in Pearl, Mississippi, a teenager opened fire on his high school classmates, killing two and injuring many more. I watched the news footage from my job at the public television station in Austin, Texas. I’d grown up just a few miles from where the shooting took place. I had cousins in Pearl and I spent time there as a child. The news of the shooting shocked me and it shocked my coworkers. Someone asked, “Where would he get the gun?”…

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It’s Raining. No, That’s the Sun.

It’s Raining. No, That’s the Sun.

Like so many people across the country and around the world, I marched this weekend. My husband and I joined the crowd of about 200,000 men, women, and children in Denver. We walked and chanted and laughed and waved as we ran into people we knew from various places. We failed to meet up with others, because the crowd was too large and cell service was spotty. It didn’t matter. We were all there together, whether we found each other or…

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The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right

Yesterday I taught a creative writing segment to a group of elementary school kids. It was my last teaching gig of 2016. This year, thanks to Denver’s Lighthouse Young Writers Program, I worked with third graders and high school seniors and middle school students. I taught suburban kids and city kids. I taught one ninth grader who told me she catches a city bus at six o’clock every morning to get to school. Do you know how dark it is at at 6…

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A Literary Eye on the Election

A Literary Eye on the Election

At this time next week, the election will be over. I don’t know about you, but I can hardly remember what it feels like to live in a world without political advertisements and October surprises that are really just the same old news reported in a different way. I’m so glad I live in a state with early voting. I filled out my ballot last week and dropped it in one of the convenient polling boxes in my neighborhood park….

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Train Legs and Home

Train Legs and Home

I’ve left the train, but the train has yet to leave me. I went to yoga less than a full day after I disembarked at Denver’s Union Station. I chatted with a woman on the Empire Builder and we both agreed that train yoga would be a great addition to the journey. We wanted to stretch out, get some exercise in the middle of the morning or the afternoon. We thought Amtrak could offer it in one of the old…

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