I have a love affair with winter.

[image from here] I don’t consider myself to be a poet, and I rarely enjoy poetry unless by some long-dead great. But every once in a while (this means like every couple years), I let myself dabble in poetry. Here’s my favorite (and probably the best) poem that I’ve ever written.   I have a love affair with winter. His breath puts color in my cheek And sends a shiver down my spine. His character is anything but meek. Coolly,...
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“I’d Want To Be Seen.”

I think sometimes we make helping others a bigger performance than it needs to be, like if you’re not donating blood or volunteering at the homeless shelter three days a week, then you aren’t actually making a difference. I’m not dissing the people who are doing these things because it’s great that they are! We need people to do these. But sometimes, lending a hand looks more like lending an ear or lending your voice. It’s taking a moment to invest...
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Looking Forward and Backwards: 25 Questions

With the coming of the end of the year, I decided to brush off my end of the year questions now. I pulled out my answers for 2013 and looked over them because I wondered if I was going to need to hurry up and begin working on some changes in these last two months of 2014. We all know that December is the crazy month with November being its own version of pre-crazy. There is not time for anything...
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Dream Accomplished: Vienna

When people inevitably ask where I want to travel, my standard answer is, “Everywhere—I want to see the world.” After a while, I began to think I should actually have some sort of goal list to help me actually go places. Vienna was not on that short list; actually, I can’t remember what cities were because I’ve misplaced that list. But within the past year, I’ve been to Vienna, Austria, twice. One time with my mother for a week and...
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Touring Pittsburgh with Barbara

If I were to take you around Pittsburgh, home of the Steelers and more bridges than Venice, I would tell you, “This is a tour according to Barbara. It will lack substantial facts of the city, but it will be filled with giggles, heart-to-hearts, and silly voices.” First, you and I would ditch whatever mode of transportation we entered the city in, whether car, train, or bus. To really see a city, you must take to the streets. Shoes tied...
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The Healing Pain

Healing is pain first. If the wound is fresh, soap and water. If it is old, you must seek it and reopen it. It doesn’t feel like healing. It’s like pine prickles wedged into your skin with tear crinkles in your eyes. Maybe I don’t really want healing. I’d rather limp, achey step after achey step. There are moments when you know that you’re only standing because of crutches, but then there are years, where you didn’t even know that...
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London Dreaming

As a writer and a reader, I have always been intrigued by London. So many great authors come from there–classics, really! It would be a dream to study at Oxford, and I have friends who have. Yes, I’m jealous. [image found here] Have you ever had the opportunity to ride a red double-decker bus? Funny enough, I spotted this type of bus chilling in a Mississippi parking lot about a month ago. Who would have thought! [image found here] Did...
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Vienna’s Culture as Viewed by an American

One of the reasons that I love traveling is getting to experience other cultures. Seeing a new culture makes me view my own home culture in a new way. The American way isn’t always the best way. I didn’t expect to observe so many cultural differences while in Vienna, Austria, but I found quite a few and I want to share them with you, whether you’re headed to Austria or not! Speaking with Utensils: In Europe, eating utensils speak a...
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Visiting Vienna on a Budget

Vienna, a Mecca of culture and history, provides a day traveler with many options of things to do. A city seemingly designed for small and large budgets, kids and adults, history nuts and spontaneous shoppers. Spending money is simple, but finding quality entertainment can prove more difficult on a low budget. Upon arriving in Vienna, search out the nearest ubahn (the underground) station to purchase a 24-hour ticket. This ticket allows unlimited travel throughout Vienna on buses, ubahn, and trams....
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A Writer’s Dragons

I like writing. That’s the truth of the matter. There are many people who really don’t like writing. It’s as though someone has tied them to a chair and plans to slowly separate their fingers from their fingernails. Painful. That was never me. Words just flow together, or they used to. I don’t have writer’s block. You have to be a writer to have a block. But what is a stinking block anyway? Is it a writer just tapping their...
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