• 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…

  • Clash of Concepts

    November 27 – Cool

    OK, be realistic. You had to expect when you saw today’s word that I would bring this up. This is probably the last time during this month’s project that I will write on this subject—since we’re this close to the end, I can be pretty confident of that statement. Here goes “Cool”: My mom had a favorite song. Many nights when I was growing up, I watched Mom and my aunt—and sometimes Mom by herself—dance to “Long Cool Woman” by The Hollies. Mom was a phenomenal dancer—I loved watching the carefree way she moved to the beat. Sometimes she danced the Jitterbug, sometimes freestyle, always beautiful. She danced to the…