My toughest, most beloved teacher

(ROCKWALL, TX – September 10, 2018) The teacher walked in to my junior year AP English class, slammed the door, her heels echoing off the floor as she walked before us. Her blue eyes were piercing. She dripped confidence and resolve as she introduced herself and the class expectations; we were intimidated. Ironically, Mrs. Vowell […]

An Old Fashioned, Memory-Making Family Vacation

An Old Fashioned, Memory-Making Family Vacation

(ROCKWALL, TX — August 2, 2018) I couldn’t believe Ireland went right into the water. She loves to swim but swimming in a lake was a new experience, so she ventured in, then reality hit and she got right back out and stayed in the boat. We had gone in “halvsies” with my brother-in-law to […]

Fireworks, Feasting Take on a Whole New Meaning

Fireworks, Feasting Take on a Whole New Meaning

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 27, 2018) In the grandstands of the parade deck, the wind ripped through us; it was freezing, one of the coldest days ever at Parris Island, South Carolina. We shivered, immersed in U.S. Marine culture, waiting for our son’s platoon to march across. It was the glorious end to a long […]

Hooked on Fishing

Hooked on Fishing

(ROCKWALL, TX — June 4, 2018) While being walked by the dog in Harry Myers Park, I stumbled upon a large crowd of parents and kids encircling the ponds by the historical homes—it was a fishing derby. Kids casted lines, reeled, and screamed the iconic, “I got one!” as moms and dads ran over to […]

Catching the ‘Hunting Dog Disease’

Catching the ‘Hunting Dog Disease’

(ROCKWALL, TX — May 1, 2018) Shadow darted under the walking bridge, through the running water, exiting from under the other side, only to circle back up to the path until the leash tightened. It was tangled and mud splattered me as I attempted to fix the mess. The dog had first chased a squirrel, […]

Not Bad for a Near Flunky

Not Bad for a Near Flunky

(ROCKWALL, TX — April 6, 2018) As I drive back to Memphis I often pass an exit labeled, “Gill Campus.” Pride follows the memory of the day the local community college dedicated their campus with my dad’s name on the front, and what’s funny is Dad nearly flunked out of school. He graduated what I […]

What are You Eating?

What are You Eating?

(ROCKWALL, TX — March 5, 2018) “Whatcha eating, Dad?” I often asked when we went to lunch at his favorite “Luby’s-style” cafeteria. His answer could be anything from veal parmesan to Salisbury steak. “Wanna try?” He’d ask. “Eeww,” and just like that, I stepped in his trap. In my family if you turned your nose […]

25 Years of Love

25 Years of Love

(ROCKWALL, TX — February 8, 2018) A few months ago my wife’s boss had a birthday and invited us to her celebration. It was my busy time of the year so I was game for anything, well, except for salsa dancing. Yep, that was the birthday plan, go to a restaurant in Dallas that shut […]

Words of Wisdom for the New Year

Words of Wisdom for the New Year

(ROCKWALL, TX — January 5, 2018) In the handful of days before New Year’s, I’ve written a novel, taken up fly-fishing, and I’m presently becoming an elk hunter. Yes, that’s a bit of exaggeration, but each of those bucket-listers started as a resolution. I’m a list-nerd, a goal-monger, a resolution-junkie, you could say. Each year […]

Simple Christmas

Simple Christmas

(ROCKWALL, TX — December 7, 2017) The chili simmered on the Coleman stove as I tiptoed around so not to kick dirt in it while gathering wood for a fire. Freezing temperatures neared, and I knew Ireland and I would need to start a toasty campfire before slipping into our sleeping bags. The solar power […]