• Clash of Concepts

    November 30 – Protect

    When a person starts a project like Clash of Concepts—a project that requires creativity, interesting stories and a touch of humor—the tendency may be to protect oneself from vulnerability. I’ve thought of this many times in the past month—wondering what people would think of me if I showed them what goes on in my head. I have written some pieces that I’m proud of and some that I should have censored. But it was important for me to be me on this journey—good, bad and ugly—and I definitely have shown you some ugly. The easy way out would have been to protect myself—and you—from the realness of what I have…

  • Clash of Concepts

    November 29 – Decorate

    Decorating our Christmas tree is a big deal to the Margison family. I didn’t realize quite how much until I considered not putting one up. But quick and loud protests affirmed my hopes that decorating a Christmas tree meant something to more than just me. We always put the tree up together—Rodney, Tyler, Zach and me. When the boys were at school out of state, we waited until we could all be together, even if it was a few days before Christmas. In recent years, we’ve added the boys’ significant others, and maybe, someday, our grandchildren will join in the fun. Each year is the same routine: Rodney huffs and…

  • Clash of Concepts

    November 28 – Prevent

    “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” Remember Smoky Bear’s directive? Fires were always something to prevent. As a newspaper reporter, I covered several fire prevention events and photographed too many house fires. Each house fire always took me back to the mid-1970s when our little farmhouse burned to the ground. We lost everything. The structure of the house was completely gone, replaced by a pile of ashes. By the grace of God, we were not home. My family was devastated by the fire. Displaced. Separated. Lost. I was the only one of us in school, so I stayed with the neighbors or a family friend so I could continue to…