I Slept With a Pig, and I Liked It

 I've been thinking about pitching a tent in the back yard  so that I can sleep outside while the weather is nice. I've read of many health benefits associated with sleeping outside, everything from kickstarting a more natural sleep cycle to eliminating anxiety. Since both those issues plague me at times, I'm considering a sleep experiment over the next couple of weeks....and I'm tent shopping.

This afternoon I decided to take advantage of the cool breeze and sunshine and test my theory. I slipped into jammies, grabbed a blanket and pillow, and headed to the backyard. 

Now, some would think that sleeping on the ground would not be comfortable. But for me, it feels natural. I have always loved camping, and I am not a snooty camper. No cots, no RVs, no air mattresses: just me with a sleeping bag and pillow on the hard earth. 

So when I laid down this afternoon and felt the grass crunching beneath me and the slight mounds and hollows of the uneven ground moulding against my weight, it was nothing less than cathartic. It took just a few minutes of listening to the song birds and my eyelids began to get heavy.

But then right as I was about to fall asleep, I felt this cool, wet snout rooting around my fingertips. Hammie had found me. I'm sure she was wondering what I was doing laying down in HER yard. At first, I thought she was just looking for more sunflower seeds. But as I reached out to scratch her nose, she whimpered a bit, then plopped down right next to me and laid her snout across my arm. 

We laid in the grass for about 15 minutes, each of us snoozing off and on. She woke up a couple of times when the neighbor's dog yapped, but then she would look at me with her sleepy gaze and snuggle back down into the grass. Each time she startled, she would scoot closer and closer to me. 

Ah, divine peace. I can't describe the state of relaxation. As much as I did not want to risk ruining the moment, at one point I reached for the phone to take a selfie. Yes, no makeup, and I'm laying at the worst possible angle. But so is Hammie, and she didn't seem to mind.

Yes. I slept with a pig, and I liked it. 

 

Sharing Our Stories

Sharing Our Stories

It is not our accolades and accomplishments that make us great storytellers. It is in remembering when Grandma Hazel peeled a double-yolk Easter egg, when Dad bought me a pair of Lee jeans and red leg warmers so I would fit in with the other girls in 7th grade, when my younger brother got hit in the back with a firecracker, and when my mother made vegetable beef soup in her black, speckled roasting pan.  It is remembering the day I met my beautiful sister, the day my sophomore English teacher gave me permission to do a project on Madonna, and the day my older brother defended me on the school bus. These are not earth-shattering events, but they are my stories.

A Letter to My Elementary School

A Letter to My Elementary School

I remember being charged a penny every time I said ‘ain’t’  in Mrs. Sheesley’s class, and earning a trip to the mall in Oskaloosa to see Santa with my classmates. I also remember Mrs. Sheesley making the rounds to every student’s home before the year ended, to meet our parents. I can still see her sitting at our kitchen table drinking coffee with my mom.

In Good Company

In Good Company

Whether we write for a living or for ourselves, we often do much of what we do in isolation. The camaraderie with fellow writers is difficult to achieve. As the supervisor of a college writing center, my staff and I are somewhat of our own island. We have fascinating conversations amongst ourselves that no one else on campus would give two shakes of a stick to listen to. And in terms of my personal writing, there are very few people I trust to share it with, so that circle of collaboration is even smaller, tighter, and harder to break through.

Is the Election Over Yet? Please?

Is the Election Over Yet? Please?

This morning, I so, so long for civil debate. I’m tired of hearing about affairs, possible affairs, emails, secretly taped conversations, and radical Black Panther ties. I’m tired of listening to candidates dodge the questions of substance they are given and instead marching out their tv dinner, pre-prepared rants and ravings. I’m tired of devisive, biased news coverage that proves that journalism is no longer a craft, but a vintage, forgotten art form.

My Writing Goals...

My Writing Goals...

As writers, we must take time to self-evaluate. Do we know where we are going, and do we know why we want to get there? Perhaps your goals are lofty and grandiose, or maybe they are just tiny little baby steps. Either way, goals should be spoken out loud, written down, and then evaluated for progress.