Short Stories

Short stories that will inspire, encourage, educate and even change the way you see everyday life.

There is More to His Story

When I was a writer in South Texas, one of my first assignments was to accompany students at Fort Worth to cover the International Science Fair. Each day, with my laptop, slung over my shoulder, I walked to the convention center to observe and interact with the students to write about their reactions to being a part of an international event.

As I walked by the park near the convention center, I noticed a homeless man lying on a bench. I couldn’t help but gaze longer than I should, and feel a need to sit down next to him and tal...

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Do You Hear What I Hear?

The first time my husband received a cross over hearing aid, he was astonished when we stepped outside the doctor’s office. “Do you hear that,” he asks. “What?” I asked. “The wind,” he said. “I can hear the sound of the wind.”

Most people take hearing for granted until they lose it. My husband is deaf in his left ear due to a severe injury he sustained as a child. He lost much of the hearing in his right ear when he served in Viet Nam.

A crossover hearing aid is a hearing a...

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In My Corner of the Field

I grew up on a farm. At the end of each summer or harvest year, my dad set fire to the fields to make ready for seeding the following spring. My brothers and I helped him by containing the fire in our corner of the fields. We didn’t have vast fields, but this was a low-cost alternative to tilling in the previous year’s crops, and my dad also believed it killed unwanted insects.

Our job was to stand in our designated section of the field with a large wet cloth or a wet broom and make sure the fire did not go beyond our corn...

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One Thing At a Time

When my husband asks, “Are you trying to bake that cake, again!” I know it is my cue to slow down and concentrate on one thing at a time. It is a gentle reminder that started between us many years ago when our children were small and our life was extremely full of people and activities.

Right before guests would arrive for dinner, regardless of what a wonderful meal I had prepared, I would inevitably decide to add something else, which often made the moments before their arrival stressful.

Trying to do too m...

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Trails, like rules, are there for a reason

“Trails are there for a reason; my husband always told me when we were hiking.  The high grass and wooded areas can be dangerous”. His warnings were usually confirmed by the posted signs that instructed people to stay on the trails.

The problem was that I had a hard time staying on the trail.  My curiosity about what I couldn’t see compelled me to follow sounds that I couldn’t identify.  Often I went off the trails to get photos of birds, such as the Painted Bunting and the Scarlet Tanager soaring out of my cam...

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Cats, Predators or Pets

I didn't notice the big black and brown cat perched on the other side of the fence peering into our backyard.  I was busy watching the gray and white mocking bird with a long black tail dipping its beak into the cool water inside the birdbath.

It is a sight I can see most any time of the day, because our yard is usually filled with birds. We have Sparrows that build nests in the eave of our back porch, doves that nest in the big tree that shade the bird feeders, Woodpeckers hammering away at all hours of the day and red winged...

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Fishing On The Fly

I watched with interest as my husband worked on his casting technique with his new fly rod. Fly-fishing has always been an appealing sport to me because it requires more activity than just standing and waiting for a fish to pull your floater underwater.

I was assigned to watch over the other four fishing poles he had brought with us.  They were baited with live shrimp and had bright green, orange and yellow floaters bobbing on top of the water. I wanted to try my hand at casting the line too, but it was his pole and I figured I would ...

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Learning How to Help Your Child With ADHD

“When I was in the first grade I had trouble concentrating and doing my work and what added to this problem is that I have a disorder called ADHD, (Attention Deficient Hyperactivity Disorder) and I didn't know it.  I was always hyper, out of control, and always getting in trouble. I also had a temper problem. Because of this I set a goal to improve. The school put me in a program called 504, (to receive extra help), and I also started to take a medication. I finally got to the point where I reached my goal. Now I'm in Pre-AP (honor cla...

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Be careful what you wish for

My photo fantasy, while on a road trip to Alaska, was a big black bear standing on his hind legs looking directly into my camera lens.

According to the Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game, black bears rarely attack humans unprovoked. Usually when they stand erect it is to get a better look at you and possibly to show their size as a warning not to get too close.  I had no intention of getting too close, or feeding or petting a bear. I just wanted a great photo.

Black bears and their cubs were plentiful on the side of the road as we d...

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Armed Forces Day in May

When we lived in Harlingen, Texas I loved visiting the Armed Forces Appreciation Day at the Texas Air Museum.  The last time I was there it was hot, Texas hot! I thought I might go in, look around, and say hello to my friends, John and Jeanette Houston, and then leave. But I ended up staying three hours, and I hardly noticed how hot it was because of all the interesting things I saw and learned. Volunteers were serving food, cleaning up, listening and telling stories, and heartily involved in recreating history for the Independence Day celeb...

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Looking in the Mirror

A curious mouse visited a carnival that was in town. There were tents that contained attractions the likes of which he had never seen. The mouse entered one tent that was filled with thousands of mirrors in various shapes and sizes.

He ran from one to another, fascinated by all of the curious mice smiling back at him. He thought to himself, “This is a wonderful place, full of so many happy mice. I will come here as often as possible.”

As he left the tent, he came upon another mouse. “Guess what?” he excl...

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The Power of Touch

It is hard to go to sleep at night when you are angry with your spouse, especially if you are trying to stay on your side of the bed. I’ve tried it occasionally.

Recently, I had an idea for a column about touch–the importance of feeling human touch. The idea came to me while I was having a massage to help relieve some very tense muscles in my neck.

I was lying on my stomach with my face resting downward in a doughnut hole pillow. My shoulders began to relax as skilled hands targeted the mus...

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Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas and everything was going wrong. There was no heat to warm the small trailer where we lived. That was because the butane tank that held the gas was empty.

We called the gas company, but they refused to come out on a holiday to fill the tank, even though the temperature was only going to reach 15 degrees. My husband’s job had brought us to the small Georgia town. He was the new pastor of a small missionary church.

It was so cold in the trailer that the children had to wear their coats...

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Threatening our Children Causes Many Problems

The little girl ran from one side of the waiting room to the other, almost tripping the adult walking by. Her mother tried to stop her, but the three-year-old ran out of her reach. When she finally got her back to her seat, she stood up and began jumping up and down dangerously close to the edge of the chair.

The frantic mother told the child to sit down or she would not get a treat when they left. It didn't work. When all other negotiations failed, the mother seemed to have had enough. She said to the child with exasperation; “...

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Health Fears are Often Unexplained and Overblown

Our daughter was always afraid of the dark when she was little. She would see these monsters looming over her bed or swaying in the dark and cry out to us. Her dad or I would go into her room and turn the light on to show her that the monsters were just pieces of furniture or the curtain moving in the wind of an open window.  “See, if you turn on the light, it’s not so scary, is it?” he would tell her

Just like the scare with the coronavirus we are having now, she had a scare during her second pregnancy that ...

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Hope and Determination are Important Tools in Life

When we lived in Texas, I had a friend who needed to write a paper about Hispanic Heritage Month for an English assignment. She asked me what I thought was the most important thing young people in the Rio Grande Valley needed to succeed in life.

While I was thinking about the answer, she said everyone else had told her the answer was education. I agreed that education was definitely the answer for success in any person’s life, young or old, but there is something we must have even to reach that goal. It is hope.

E...

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We Are More Than Occupants

I was hoping that the seat next to me on the plane would be empty. As I opened my magazine, I thought how comfortable it would be to spread my personal things out a little and relax without having to talk to anyone.

However, the voice that made me look up told me that was not going to happen. The small young girl standing before me wore brown baggy shorts that were obviously too large for her and an equally baggy gray shirt with a guy’s name on it.

Her hair was pulled back in a tight ponytail and her face looked tired. Sh...

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A Child and a Flower

The little town where we lived outside of Augusta, Georgia was very small.  There was an elementary school, a flower shop, a bank, a minute market and a family owned restaurant and, of course, many churches. We knew just about everyone in the community, and everyone knew our youngest son.

He was a friendly child, with whitish, blonde hair, who was always zipping around the neighborhood on his red bicycle. First thing every morning during the summer he would get dressed and off he would go for his morning ride. In his travels he often ...

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He That Endures to the End

From a distance you could barely make out the blurred image of two people moving down the road.  A police car with its headlights on low beam followed close behind them.

All of the other runners had already completed the 10K run and were sitting around the outdoor tables set up at the Valley Race Park eating lunch and drinking cold drinks. “We asked them if they wanted to ride to the finish line, the officer standing beside me said.  But they said no; they wanted to finish the run.”

I looked back down the road and ...

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If You Love Me, Buckle Your Seat Belt

I hated to start our evening with nagging, but when our daughter drove up in front of the restaurant, I noticed she wasn't wearing her seat belt. “Sweetheart, you should wear your seat belt,” I said. “Sure mom,” she laughed.

While we were having dinner, like most moms, I felt compelled to give my usual lecture about the danger of not wearing seat belts.

When we started to leave it was raining, and I felt anxious about her driving back to her college dorm on the wet, winding roads of East Tennessee. Even ...

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An Educational Gift for My Children

The older gentleman standing in the hall outside the classroom was dressed very nice.  He wore a brown tweed jacket, dark brown trousers, a stripped shirt and a sharp looking tie.  His hair was gray and his glasses made him look very wise. I figured he must be the professor of the class I was about to enter.

When the door opened, 25-30 college students, dressed in an array of youthful outfits, funneled in and sat down ready to start the new semester.

I took a seat in the middle near the wall just in case I changed my mind and d...

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Are We Teaching Our Children to Lie?

One day after school, our youngest son, Jay, seemed fidgety. I could tell something was wrong, but when I asked him, he said it was nothing.  Finally, after staring at the TV for an hour or so, he meekly said, “Mom, I have to tell you something.” His face was tense and his eyes were sad.

I put everything aside, and gave him my full attention while he stuttered out his words. “The teacher sent you a note home,” he said. I asked to see the note. The teacher had written that Jay had not been turning in his...

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Connecting With Our Children in the Kitchen

Our kitchen was two steps down from the rest of the house. When you walked through the living room and dining room, you took two steps down into the kitchen.  My favorite place to sit was on those steps.

As a little girl, I would sit and talk with my mother or watch her move about the kitchen with flour on the front of her dress and at the edge of her hairline where she wiped her forehead with the back of her hands when she was making bread.

Some mornings I stepped down into the kitchen and sat on the stool beside the butter ch...

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Taking Care of Yourself

The flight attendant stood at the front of the plane mechanically, giving safety instructions for the flight. It was apparent that she could probably give those same instructions in her sleep, because she had done it many times.

 I had heard them many times before, but something she said caught my attention this time. “In the event of an emergency, the oxygen mask will drop from overhead. Put the mask over your nose and mouth. If you are traveling with a small child or an infant, put your mask on first, then help the child.̶...

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