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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Family Gathering in Texas

My family has picked the MLK weekend as our gathering time for the past years for our annual get together. We fly into Austin from Atlanta, Madison, New York, and Dallas to be with my mom who "hosts" us in a variety of settings. The past few years we have flown in our son, along with his girlfriend, which makes it even that much more special to me. Jeanne, the sister who stayed close to home, suggested this time back when most of us were still working. The 3 day weekend allowed us a time to escape from our lives and keep intact the regular "holiday" traditions each of us had been following around Christmas and Thanksgiving for years. Now, it is this holiday tradition, the one where my family comes together in Texas, that I enjoy the most. It rekindles the spirit of when we were growing up, sharing bathrooms, sharing meals, many of us talking at the same time, living as a family.

With the younger generation, my son and my sister's adult children, some with children of their own, our number continues to grow. It is the kind of reunion that ends up with those not cooking doing the kitchen clean up and sharing Pictionary and often a puzzle coming together in the corner. We avoid politics, as my mom is the lone Republican, and somehow, this helps me in my tolerance the rest of the year. I love our family get-togethers and now that Mom is 88, know that each one is more special than the last.

Black Panther

Only Once