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

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Momma cooking

This year my youngest kid's birthday fell on Thanksgiving. And though he would be celebrating his 25th birthday, it is but one of the few “double whammy celebrations” he’ll have in his lifetime. So far he's had three and I’ve yet to miss one. A broken heart and bad choices aren't exactly the recipe for a party spirit for him. Or for me.

Flights from BHM to Portland aren’t cheap, especially over the holidays. But ones that stop twice, change planes once, and arrive 12 hours after departure cost a little less. 

“You land at what time?” my son asked.

I repeated, “1:15am.”

“In the morning?”

“That’s what a.m. means last time I checked.”

The visit was pretty much his present but I would cook him a birthday dinner. 

"Whaddya want?" 

He didn't hesitate:"Momma-cooking."

Even though I am the kind of Mom, who could burn a pop tart and undercook instant grits, I still cooked and insisted on family meals.

Mt. Hood was snow-covered and the cookies he distributes in his new job handsomely packaged. Oregon celebrates "agriculture" in a way Alabama does not. 

Neighborhood co-ops there sell food, but they look nothing like my Costco and Publix. Still I lowered by shoulder and entered the Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving fray, determined I’d fight for whatever I could find that might resemble Alabama turkey and dressing, even if the cranberries were organic and the turkey made of tofu. 

Nobody starved. And I didn't even have to arm wrestle anyone for the last frozen chicken because as I was rolling up my sleeves, she put it back. After cleaning up the Air BNB kitchen, I packed up all the leftovers and sent my youngest little lamb home, with three bags full.

Fourth of July