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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Forward and Back

We made it! One year is in the bag. And from our perspective, it has been a major success. Read on for a few words of gratitude, some fascinating numbers, and several exciting announcements.

Take Only What You Need From It

But the undeniable truth is out there: I, Catherine Kramer, am the author of Boy Meets World Continued, published by the Mrs. Vanden Brink Press (a print-on-demand operation) in 2001.

Seeing Staci

I didn’t say anything. Not yet. But I was getting drunker. Not off the single beer I had to drink, but off the flood of potent memories over our last eight years of friendship.

Leaving

What if I still went out for drinks with those block-building friends I had in kindergarten? What if I still talked with my favorite deskmate from elementary?

When Our Dogs Go

It’s a little bit embarrassing the way our dogs affect us. We develop a language with them. We call them the weirdest pet names. We let them get away with things.

For Better, For Worse

On our wedding night, Clarissa and I got a call from our roommates in North Carolina saying that our house had been robbed. Someone had thrown a brick through the kitchen window.

On Toads and Tedium

On Toads and Tedium

by | Jul 24, 2014

I ended up spending half the carnival with the oldest girls’ cabin, running the kissing booth. Now, before you google my summer camp and withdraw your children in horror, let me explain.

How to Change a Name

What happens when Jenn Langefeld actually means failed writer? I imagined stepping into editorial meetings and my real name slipping out. “Oh, you’re her? Scratch that contract.”

Faithwashing

Faithwashing

In an era when people derive meaning and identity through brand loyalty, Christianity should not be treated like a brand. Churches should not be treated like corporations.

Shoes

Shoes

The day she truly implanted herself in my mind as the worst choir teacher ever was the day I watched the home video of one of our concerts. I was in seventh grade.

Dedicated Here to the Unfinished Work

Dedicated Here to the Unfinished Work

Back in this time without television, movie theaters, and rock concerts, public speeches were exciting and entertaining, and, for the country town of Gettysburg, likely very rare. People would ride for hours, perhaps even days to hear someone.

Playing God

Playing God

We read fiction to watch people overcome their struggles. We enjoy tragic moments, because they are purposeful and developmental. Pain can drive a character or a plot to something complex and important.

Face Forward

Face Forward

Suddenly there are more things on my face that could go wrong. Is my mascara giving me a black eye? Did my lipstick make friends with my teeth? Does my eyeliner make me look like King Tut?

A Great Good Place

A Great Good Place

It’s a strange, rewarding experience to be surprised in your own home. There are small things: stores that never close, kindness from absolute strangers, the harsh omnipotence of air conditioning, incredibly friendly, sometimes overbearing customer service.

Millicent Bluebell: Demon Cat

Millicent Bluebell: Demon Cat

Millie is on the couch, looking sweet as can be. I go to scratch her little kitty ears and I see a look of deranged obsession come into her eyes. She. Must. Bite.

Ketchup and Blood

My future girlfriend laughed. After that, I probably didn’t say anything for the rest of the time at the table. I had peaked with that joke, already canonized in my head, replaying it over and over in my mind.

The Escape

The Escape

His work didn’t stop, even if the rain did. After a moment’s breath of rain-washed air and a sigh from the depth of his soul, he grabbed the umbrella and closed the door behind him.

En Route

En Route

The hum of tires on the road and the whoosh of other cars passing and the thump of bumpy highways has a way of drowning out the chatter of everyday life and transporting us smoothly to blessed vacation.

Costas

Costas is a short man with bright brown eyes, a salt-and-pepper beard. He dresses in long pants with a plaid button up tucked into a high waistband. Sensible walking shoes.

Triathalove

Dust off your old road bike, strap on some new tennis shoes, and buy some arm floaties if you need to! There is still plenty of time to prepare for your summer triathlon and secure the love of your life.

My Neighbor’s Wind Chimes

My Neighbor’s Wind Chimes

How many wind chimes would be considered reasonable? One, maybe. If it’s nice sounding (silent) and pretty to look at. Two are means for legal action. Guess how many she has. Go ahead.

Yelling Out of Car Windows

Yelling Out of Car Windows

I can only assume that the good citizens of Appleton must have incurred the wrath of an old crone witch at some point in the past. She in turn cursed the town.

And The World Spins Madly On

And The World Spins Madly On

It was the pilot who brought us together. We couldn’t help but laugh at his enthusiasm and excitement. A shared laugh is more bonding than a shared complaint.

Stealth Camping: Part Two

Stealth Camping: Part Two

I approached the Mustang with my hands raised in surrender. No weapons. No threats. I passed through the glare of the headlights and saw three men sitting in the car. All were big in the Mike Tyson way, and all three looked angry.

Love Over Law

Love Over Law

Reading it with a Christian lens, we can find interesting and compelling parallels to another story of a beloved son climbing a hill with wood on his back.

MacLeod’s Folly

MacLeod’s Folly

Above the Scottish harbor town of Portree on a wooded hill known as The Lump stands what looks like an ancient watchtower, gazing blindly past the shoulders of the mountains to the Sound of Raasay.

French Self Defense

French Self Defense

When I finally figured out that my visa couldn’t be extended, and when my departure became imminent, my friends’ plans for extending my stay became more far-fetched by the day.

What the Cat Dragged In

What the Cat Dragged In

A first family pet, unconventional as it may be. “What should we name him, Liam?” asked Charis. “Koonk.” A fine name, indeed. Simple and zany and oh-so-Liam.

Stephanie in Haiti

Stephanie in Haiti

I didn’t meet Stephanie in the same way I meet most people. I don’t know much about her. I know she went to school, where not all of the kids were able to. She was one of eight children.