Archive for the that's a tasty beverage Category

Peaches and Screams

Posted in that's a tasty beverage with tags , , on October 11, 2010 by samsondoggie

The story currently goes like this:

I was 10, and back then, there was no interstate-40 to take you to the beach. So instead, people went down 70 and then over on 52 and down on 10. They were two-lane roads and everyone went 60, 65, just going through to get to wherever they were really going. Except we would sometimes stop at those roadside stands. Usually for peaches, or else for tomatoes. I love those stands off the road, in the country. I can just imagine it, the way that the peach juice would trickle out of my mouth. And my dad always said that peach juice tastes better when you are eating them in a car.

We were at one of those road-side stands and we were going to get some peaches to eat when we got to Carolina Beach. We would have eaten some right away, of course, but then we would save some for breakfast on the porch. There were ten of us in the station wagon.We got out of the car but then everyone was just standing around. I didn’t understand why we weren’t crossing.

I don’t know, maybe it was just the chaos of the moment. I swear that I looked to my left, and then to my right, and then back to the left. Except that I guess I didn’t look to see over Tapi’s shoulder. Because, you know, he was so much taller than me. Especially at that age, I was such a shrimp. Susie and dSusie, both so short. That’s what we were. Continue reading


Family Ties

Posted in that's a tasty beverage on June 11, 2010 by samsondoggie

I love to be there when my kids have a big day. I love when my kids do things that evoke memories of my own life.  I am reminded, regularly, of how our lives are evolving in circles. Maybe the reason that I want to spend so much time remembering my kids’ lives is because it heightens whatever memory I have left of childhood. I hope that those feelings are not slipping away. I know that I will never remember elementary school so readily, though.

Today is John’s last day of school. He has had such a good year at E.K. Powe. Mr. Dodyk made John work. He made him stay on task. He managed to differentiate, even if it meant no reading groups after April 1st for John and lots of time at centers. The private Montessori school did not work out, but the resource-challenged urban public school did.

Mr. Dodyk's 1st Grade class. E.K. Powe Elementary. June 2010.

E.K. Powe emphasized reading, and to a lesser extent the school wanted to spend time on math. John’s homework included a mandate that he spend read out loud to us for twenty minutes, four nights a week. I feel like I have watched him learn to use books as tools. I see him picking out books for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes, it is favorite author. Sometimes, it is because he has an appetite for a subject. Sometimes, he seems to be trying to read about something that he is scared about or that makes him worried. I can’t Continue reading

What He Said

Posted in that's a tasty beverage on June 7, 2010 by samsondoggie


I turn the corner onto Crosby Road, intending to get to the bottom of things.  My tenant’s blue Ford Windstar van is parked out front. There are some toys under the car port. Otherwise, there’s no sign of activity.

Next door, a blue Honda Civic is parked under the carport, so I head over for a chat. Ren, a 20-ish blond woman answers.  She has her huge dog, Layla, so she subdues him before she opens the door. Although I’ve spoken with her husband several times, we have never met.  Still, she seems to know who I am.  She does not invite me in. She comes out on the concrete porch.

I try to convey the situation. Charles says there has been some crime. The police don’t have a record of it. I just want to get down to the bottom of it.

“Well,” she says, “we’re moving next week. It’s not worth it. I like this neighborhood, too. There were gunshots last night, someone fired into there last month, and that kid shot up the gas station, too.”

I know the kid. He’s from the house across the street. He lives at a white house owned by his grandfather. Don Continue reading

Swimming Lesson

Posted in that's a tasty beverage with tags , on May 27, 2010 by samsondoggie

I see John pull his cold body out of the water on the far side of the Duke Faculty Club pool. He is not supposed to do that. He is supposed to do another length of paddle kicking and then get ready for freestyle. Instead, he is curled into a fetal position, dripping onto the cement.

So it is with some reluctance that I put down my copy of Cold Spring Harbor. My intent is simple. I want to get him back in the pool. Easier said than done, I think to myself as I navigate through a field of spinning toddlers. The mommies are on cell phones. I am in the middle of a crowd of people that are completely blind to my presence.

“John, tell me what,” and here is where I stumble, because I want to approach him with some gentleness, “you are feeling.”

John is still. His eyes are focused straight ahead, at the surface of the pool’s edge.  His forehead is less than three inches above the cement. I am not making it up. There really is a light blue cast to his skin.

“I don’t like swimming team.

He sounds like he could cry. John never cries. I think he has cried three times since I have known him. The other day, he sprained his foot. No tears.

Continue reading

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