• Mama's jewelry box by Jan Davis

    Joanie’s grandparents sent her and her cousins, dressed in their Sunday clothes, to the backyard of her parent’s house. “Stay clean. Don’t come back inside until called,” her grandmother smiled with tears in her eyes. The boys pitched an old ball back and forth, while the older girls sat Indian style on the porch, entertained with a game of jacks. Joanie played with her doll in the yard until she became bored. She left her doll in the swing and walked to the side of the small, framed house. She…

  • A would-be pickpocket by Joyce Holdread

    “Let’s go ‘high class’ for the rest of the journey,” David entreated, so we headed for the bus station and boarded a modern Mercedes Benz autobus. “When we get to San Miguel, we can look up that engineer guy working on the water project in a nearby village. He might be able to connect us with educational programs in the area.” “Hey, they’re going to show ‘A Beautiful Mind’ on the miniscreens that drop down from the roof. I’ve wanted to see that movie for months.” “You go ahead,” said David, “I’…

  • It's all part of the adventure by Joyce Holdread

    We had just left the flower market in Guadalajara — intense colors, verdant greenery and delicious fragrances wafting round our heads. Breakfast was six hours ago, and we were ravenous. “Let’s look for a quaint little restaurante with truly regional dishes,” David proposed, searching up and down both sides of the street. Finding one with an outdoor terrace, we settled in for a truly ethnic specialty with a lovely view of the main quarter of El Centro. “Buenas tardes,” said the mustached Mexican …

  • Which moral compass do we choose?

    A compass gives direction when one is lost. Today, a computer app makes a traditional compass obsolete. A moral compass is more complicated. Morality is determined by individuals, social groups and governments. Individuals’ beliefs are based on a combination of their environment and the need for self-preservation. Environment includes physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual factors. These are influenced by family, friends, social norms and perhaps a god. Social groups base their morality on a…

  • My yellow security blanket by Pam Hayes

    The first 18 months of my life I spent shuttled between four homes and four “moms.” My soft yellow baby blanket trimmed in wide satin went with me through all the transitions. Satin rubbed between my fingers helped me relax away my fear so I could fall asleep. Hidden under downy softness, I became invisible to the monsters that lurked in the shadows and under my bed. Caressing my fevered lower lip comforted me through childhood illnesses, including polio. The security and comfort needed througho…