American

By Sean Dietrich I'm looking at an old man standing by a casket. He is tall—so tall, in fact, he leans forward at the neck. He wears a side cap, trimmed in gold. He uses a cane. The preacher says words over the mahogany box—which has an American flag draped...
Vocations often define people. So much so, that when introductions are made, they’ll say Mary is a Police Officer, Tom is a therapist, or Kathy is a minister. These days it’s common to hear of multiple occupational foci. Now the conversation may go, “Bill is an engineer who is also a...

Reach out a Hand

By Rev. Pete Hyde It was the spring of 1963, he was eight years old. His father, a career Air Force man, had been assigned to Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines and had gone ahead of the family to find a place for them to live. The eight-year-old...

Daddy’s Girl

By Lauren Catanese I’m not one for labels. But this one I’m sure to keep. Being my daddy’s girl has changed the world for me. I used to think he read a manual or was just born with all to know. Now that I am older, I’m even more grateful...
By Kirk McCarley Britton Hill is 54 miles away. Positioned near the unincorporated community of Lakewood, it measures 345 feet above sea level and is the highest crest in Florida. More a gently rising undulation than an actual mound or knoll, Britton Hill’s summit is denoted by a plaque, monument, restroom,...

Gauges

By Rick Moore Most new cars have gauges to diagnose the smallest of potential problems. Warnings appear on the dashboard. Some vehicles actually send a message to cell phones and computers when it is time to take a car in for service. Even the tire pressure can be revealed by...
By Rev. Pete Hyde In the dark of the night the light of a nearly full moon filtered through a layer of thin clouds. The coastal air was thick with humidity. One-by-one, each house in the neighborhood commenced the Sunday night ritual. Every trash can was lined up and down the street on...

FATHER’S DAY

By Sean Dietrich The Choctawhatchee Bay is calm this morning. I’m fishing. I always fish on Father’s Day weekend. There is a blue heron standing on the shore, looking at me. He doesn’t move. He only stares. Strange bird. Today has been an unproductive day. I caught exactly one catfish and...
By Lauren Catanese “It’s not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and...

Mother

  You’ve met her before. You know her—sort of. You just haven’t had a chance to talk to her yet. That’s because she’s a behind-the-scenes woman. She’s hardworking. She’s busy. Most days, she’s at the elementary school, cleaning. She even works Saturdays. She is there when the first employee arrives, she is...

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