Back to school season is always a busy time in families, especially in a teacher's family, but these last two weeks have been unusually chaotic. All jumbled up together were writing deadlines, crunch time at work, the family patriarch's birthday, a series of houseguests, a long-distance wedding (for which there were no suitable shoes in … Continue reading Ragged


In 1968, two weeks before my seventh birthday, my family left the sandy red dirt of the wiregrass region of Lower Alabama and moved to Birmingham, a roiling city built in the shadow of Red Mountain in the southern Appalachians. That move should have been a culture shock—I was leaving a tiny town untouched by … Continue reading Home