birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


When I was a young mother in my early thirties, I used to get together monthly with some high school friends. We would eat supper and drink and laugh and vent and bitch. It was something I looked forward to each month because I could get a babysitter and go sit with my friends.

I learned so much from my friends. I learned that it was ok to feed your kids frozen waffles for dinner sometimes and I learned that I was not totally a failure as a mother if I lost my temper..

We would go to the apartment of one friend or a house strewn with kids toys. We celebrated weddings and christenings and holidays together especially when the kids were little. We met at Christmas and gave small gifts and laughed. Our husbands while not great friends learned to get along with each other in order to keep their wives happy.

As our children grew up and our parents own spheres grew smaller, our times together began to stretch out. We became less likely to talk about our failings and more likely to talk about the successes of our children or our husbands. Our outsides became more about telling than our insides. And slowly the group began to go by the wayside. We splintered into smaller groups as money and success wore down the grain of our group. We slowed down and branched out in opposite directions.

I am grateful for the idea that people have seasons in our lives that come and go. Otherwise, I would be trying very hard to gather a group of people that have lost their center. The center was very important at one time but just like bees seeking to drink from flowers- it became time for us to seek other sources.

The biggest gift in our lives can be those relationships in which we have choices. Those are the people that we choose to be in our lives. Family is family- nothing can change to whom you are related by blood. I know today how limited my time is on this earth. This awareness brings much value to my time and my choices. Age gave me permission to be selective.

The 4th