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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Birthday Blues at Baskin Robbins

I was sitting at a table in our local Baskin Robbins weeping quietly into my free birthday scoop of ice cream. Three-year-old Ella, probably seeking some joy, had joined another table. Seven-year-old Henry was home, choosing to watch "Clone Wars" rather than joining us for birthday ice cream. My frustrated husband had stayed home with him. I had been down-sized at my job earlier in the day. My dad was suffering from dementia. My mom lived in another country. I felt so alone. Then out of nowhere, a cup of ice cream was pushed across the table to me. I looked up at the kind face of an upscale mom who smiled knowingly. "Here you go," she said. "Thank you," I said. Since then, I've been waiting for my opportunity to repay the favor. Someday, somewhere, I will be that stranger.

Almost-Stranger

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