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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.


My husband and I were both artists, struggling to live off the minimal income from the work of our hearts and hands. When our children came along, the struggle increased.

Blessed that my Mom and Grandmother had taught me to sew, I took our income tax refund check one year and spent most of it on a sewing machine. I made simple spaghetti strap dresses for myself with miniature matching ones for my daughter. I also sewed for my infant son and husband. But the best, the very best were those matching outfits that my little girl and I wore.

The fabric was cotton calicos, beautiful soft colors filled with millions of tiny flowers .... a fabric that made me feel like I was wrapping myself with a field of spring flowers. The dresses literally fell apart in shreds from wear, and what didn’t was usually recycled into quilts or coverings for our beds.

Perhaps this is a timely prompt as I’m engaging in a thoughtful process of what it is that I am not.... and what I’ve lost along the way that needs to be recovered ... literally. My suitable clothing no longer suits me.


Obeying the Rules