World AIDS Day: In Memory of My Two Brothers

Today is World’s AIDS Day, which was established in 1988 to lend support to people who are living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died. The 2021 theme, “Ending the HIV Epidemic: Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” underscores the fact that many marginalized people in the United States and around the world continue not…

Happy Birthday, Nephew Jim!

Today is the birthday of my beloved nephew, Jim Agutter, my sister Leslie’s son. Jim is one of my favorite people in the world and, because I’ve known him since I was fifteen (when I was changing his diapers as a newborn), he is also one of my longstanding buddies. Luckily, he and my husband…

Eulogy for Sandra, Ten Years After Her Death

Ten years ago, my sister-in-law Sandra Adams Leatherwood died on this day.  Here are the words I spoke at her funeral. These seem fitting for today. *** My name is Len Leatherwood and I am Sandra’s sister-in-law. My nieces requested I say a few words about their mother today. Sandra had a quality that is…

Our Other Thanksgiving Celebration

Here is a photo of our more traditional Thanksgiving celebration on the actual day of Thanksgiving (Our orange grove celebration is always on the Friday after TG). We were invited to join Liz’s husband Ron’s family (the Bettys) at their lovely home for wonderful food and camaraderie. In this photo below are Ron’s parents, Ron’s…

A Few Photos of Our Thanksgiving at the Orange Grove

I am too tired to write much tonight but I can share a few photos from our Thanksgiving. I didn’t get photos of all the people who came (I’m sorry). I also didn’t get any photos of our beautiful tables and food. I was too busy chatting to snap many shots, but I did get…

Flash Fiction Revisited: The Promise

The teakettle bubbled on the stove, sending up a stream of white mist into the air of the monastery kitchen. Brother Tobias yawned as he reached over to turn off the gas burner. The chanting voices of his Benedictine brothers wafted in through the open window from the nearby chapel where they were gathered for…

Flash Memoir: The Day JFK Was Assassinated

I remember exactly where I was when John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. I was ten years old and was a student at Bailey Inglish Elementary School in Bonham, Texas, which is 70 miles from Dallas. I can’t remember exactly how we received the news, though I think it was over the loud-speaker. That…

A New Holiday Attitude Inspired by My Late Sister-in-Law, Sandra

I am moving into a new phase in my life. It’s called the, “Oh, does it really matter?” phase, which is very far from where I have lived up until Covid when I zipped around in a mindset of “Okay, let’s do this!” This previous approach to life was accompanied by an impressive amount of…

Master Chorale Tonight at Disney Hall

We went tonight with our friend and priest Ian Elliott Davies to hear the Master Chorale perform Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil. It is 75 minutes long without an intermission. Everyone had to show their vaccination card and their photo ID. We all had to wear masks as well the entire time we were in Disney. Just…

My Mother and How Not to Cook A Turkey

I was ten years old the Thanksgiving my mother decided to cook. This wasn’t a good thing since she never cooked, but she decided that she didn’t want to order the usual ham for the main meal – turkey, after all, was what most people had for Thanksgiving – and she always gave our housekeeper…