Grief: The Hardest Journey

Grief: The Hardest Journey

by Jennifer N. Fenwick January 17 marks three years since my best friend was taken. Three years since I last heard her voice, saw her smile. I've felt her absence in every day that has passed, and wished with all my heart I could spend just one more moment in her presence. Alisa with her [...]

Timeless Treasures

Timeless Treasures

JN Fenwick, author, In the Eye of the Storm | In the Aftermath of the Storm A room without books is like a body without a soul. Cicero Image by Pixabay Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, has always been one of my favorite places to visit; especially, his library. Standing in the dim room, surrounded by [...]

Prayers from the Foxhole

Prayers from the Foxhole

by JN Fenwick, Author, In the Eye of the Storm, In the Aftermath of the Storm, and Four Weeks: A Journey from Darkness How life taught me the value of spiritually walking with God daily, rather than simply seeking Him in times of need. Image by Pixabay In moments of crisis we instinctively and without [...]

Chautauqua: Working Together

Chautauqua: Working Together

by Cynthia McCauley, director and contributing author, In the Aftermath of the Storm Chautauqua is an Iroquois word meaning, ‘working together.’  Founded on the premise of learning by working together in service to others, Chautauqua Learn and Serve Charter School strives to emulate, on a pocket-sized scale, our distinguished parent organization, the Chautauqua Institution near [...]

Imperfectly Whole

Imperfectly Whole

by Jennifer N. Fenwick, author of Four Weeks: A Journey from Darkness At the age of 19, my life changed in an unimaginable way. In a way that altered me to the very marrow of my being. All it took was a few sentences; a few words strung together and spoken by the one I’d [...]

Mercy Chefs: The Mission of Chef Gary and Ann LeBlanc

Mercy Chefs: The Mission of Chef Gary and Ann LeBlanc

by Linda Artman, contributing author, In the Eye of the Storm and In the Aftermath of the Storm A few days after Hurricane Michael, Mercy Chefs arrived in Panama City. They've returned many times since to provide meals and spread hope throughout the storm-battered region. Photo by Linda Artman The name suggests that food is [...]

Summer Showers

Summer Showers

by Sandi Klug-Lard, contributing author, In the Aftermath of the Storm "I found a massive dead rat in the shed," my husband said by way of greeting. Jesse stood in the doorway leading to our backyard, his black hair wet with humidity and sweat.  "That's disgusting." I crinkled my nose.  "Come look at it." He [...]

Michael’s Angels

Michael’s Angels

by Tracy Johnstone It started with a Facebook post 100 days after the storm. The post read like a gospel invitation.  An invitation to step forward; to take a step away from the chaos of recovery. This was a salvation call for each of us as women and for the community that we all call home.  Tracy [...]

The Wedding Dress

by Dr. Amy Boe, contributing writer, In the Aftermath of the Storm: Stories of Hope and Healing. In the Eye of the Storm, published in January, 2019 tells the story of Hurricane Michael's brutal landfall along the Panhandle of Florida on October 10, 2018. A collection of poetry, stories, and images from survivors and residents, [...]

Not Enough Buckets

by Teri Hord, contributing writer, In the Aftermath of the Storm: Stories of Hope and Healing. In the Eye of the Storm, published in January, 2018 tells the story of Hurricane Michael's brutal landfall along the Panhandle of Florida on October 10, 2018. A collection of poetry, stories, and images from survivors and residents, In [...]

One Year Later

One Year Later

Hurricane Michael, One Year Later It's been one year.One year since that day.That day we'll never forget. Our world was destroyed.Torn from its foundation.Inexplicably altered.We emerged to an apocalypse. So complete in its devastation,we immediately understood,we'd never be the same.Its been one year.One year since that day.That day that challenged us.In ways we never imagined.Our [...]

Today You Would’ve Turned 50

Today You Would’ve Turned 50

Today you would’ve turned 50. I would’ve brought you boiled peanuts rather than cake. I would’ve decorated your office with black streamers,and balloons. Like you did for my 30th, and 40th, and 45th. You would’ve laughed even though you would’ve hated all the black confetti in your things. We would’ve marveled at how quickly time [...]

The Forgotten Coast

The Forgotten Coast

As Dorian approaches, media outlets are reporting it as "an unprecedented storm in Florida," and that Dorian "would be the strongest storm to hit Florida since 1992." Cover image courtesy of Shutterstock As I look around the barren landscape and notice the still clinging blue tarps, the vacant lots where homes and businesses used to [...]

In the Aftermath of the Storm

In the Aftermath of the Storm

When Hurricane Micheal slammed into our cities last October, he took more with him than just our trees, our businesses, our homes. He took pieces of us. Memories we’d planted long ago. The world outside has moved on. But we, we are still living in the aftermath. Like the many cities destroyed before us by [...]

Happy Birthday, Dad

Happy Birthday, Dad

Today would have been my Father’s 82nd birthday. Each year, around this time I find myself reflecting on his life. On the man he was and on the continued impact he has on my life. My father was so many things to me. My father, yes, but so much more. His was a calming presence [...]

We’re ALL Guilty of This, Myself Included.

We’re ALL Guilty of This, Myself Included.

In this age of social media, and instantaneous sharing, we sometimes share too much. And not necessarily in ways designed to build each other up. Instead we use the platforms, from the safety of perceived obscurity, to publicly condemn, rebuke, and chastise people whose opinions and/or choices differ from our own.  We hide behind our religion, [...]

The Lost Art of Critical Thinking

The Lost Art of Critical Thinking

I very rarely, if ever post anything that might be construed as political in nature. I find that those thoughts and opinions are usually best kept to oneself. However, in the current climate of chaos and noise and the constant barrage of talking heads and talking over one another, I was reminded of the numerous [...]

Let Freedom Ring!

Let Freedom Ring!

I taught American History for fifteen years, but have loved and studied history all my life. Some days I get discouraged when I watch the news and see how much of what was fought for by past generations is now being diluted and distilled in modern times. Yes, I do believe in progress. But not [...]

Has the Electoral College Outlived its Purpose?

Has the Electoral College Outlived its Purpose?

Perhaps the Electoral College is a victim of its own success. Most of the time it shapes American politics in ways that are beneficial but hard to see. Its effects become newsworthy only when a candidate and his or her political party lose a hard-fought and narrowly decided election.Trent England | Imprimis, June 2019 In [...]

Timeless Treasures

"I have lived a thousand lives and I have loved a thousand loves. I've walked on distant worlds and seen the end of time. Because I have read." ~ George R.R. Martin Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, has always been one of my favorite places to visit; especially, his library. Standing in the dim room, surrounded [...]

There’s Magic In You

Congratulations to my two beautiful nieces! I cannot wait to see where your journeys take you next! It’s graduation season. And like every year, the excitement, the promise, the energy of new beginnings is in the air. I’ve always loved this time of year. Especially when I was still teaching. Watching my students embrace their [...]

Raindrops and Buttons

Raindrops and Buttons

I love the sound of rain. However, the sound of rain on a tin or metal roof is something else altogether. It brings to mind childhood afternoons with my Nana. My Nana, Mary Murphy Chaknis, was born in 1911 in County Cork, Ireland. Her family was poor, and by the time Nana had reached her [...]

If I Could Talk to the Girl I Was

If I Could Talk to the Girl I Was

If I could go back twenty years, and talk to the girl I was, I would tell her these three things. First, control is an illusion. You don’t have it. You never will. The harder you grip that wheel, the more out of control you’ll spin. You’ll spend so much of your time and strength [...]

What It’s Like to Live in the Aftermath of a Category 5 Hurricane

What It’s Like to Live in the Aftermath of a Category 5 Hurricane

Keep your head up Panama City. A feat that has proven much harder as the weeks since Michael have turned into months. Image by Sharon Owens There have only been four. Only four recorded Atlantic storms have maintained category five strength as they barreled inland. The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, with its maximum sustained [...]

Teaching: A Two-way Path to Lifelong Learning

Teaching: A Two-way Path to Lifelong Learning

Teachers are expected to reach unattainable goals with inadequate tools. The miracle is that at times they accomplish this impossible task. Haim Ginott I left teaching in 2008. As the years pass, I realize that I left a bit of myself there too. In the lives of all the students I taught and in all [...]

The Dangerous Pursuit of Rewriting History

The Dangerous Pursuit of Rewriting History

Washington, Jefferson, T. Roosevelt, and Lincoln; the unwavering image of Mount Rushmore. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. [...]

Logophile Life

Logophile Life

"The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library."~ Albert Einstein. My students used to tell me I was a nerd. I’d laugh and thank them, taking it as a compliment. I wasn’t ashamed of the fact that I loved books, and words, and writing and research, and well, [...]

Partisan Politics Have Left Us to Wonder “Is Anybody Out There?”

Partisan Politics Have Left Us to Wonder “Is Anybody Out There?”

“Six months since Michael, much of the Florida Panhandle is still a shambles. And residents of the most affected areas feel largely forgotten by the public and the federal government, which has not yet passed a federal disaster relief bill for areas affected by Hurricane Michael.”Emily Atkin, The New Republic | April 19, 2019 Six [...]

Category 5

Category 5

We didn’t need the confirmation. We already knew. We felt the devastating winds. Saw with our own eyes, all the storm surge swept away. We’ve lived in the aftermath. Without help. Without relief. Relentlessly. Since that day. We’ve keenly felt the deaths. The catastrophic devastation. The destruction to our homes and cities. Our livelihoods. Our [...]

Hurricane Michael: Five Things the World Should Know

Hurricane Michael: Five Things the World Should Know

“Everyone here has a story of loss they struggle to describe and recovery they cannot yet comprehend.” 1. There was no way to adequately prepare. We'd done this before, many of us, more than once; prepared for the possibility of a hurricane visiting us during the Season. We were used to Summer ushering in, not [...]

Reflection

Reflection

We don't always see ourselves the way others do. But that's the beauty of reflection. Through the eyes of others, we get a glimpse of who we truly are. An Extraordinary State of Being | Jennifer N. and Nichole Fenwick

Faith Stands

As the winds roar, As the waves rise higher, As fear overcomes, Faith stands. As destruction grows, As devastation overpowers, As the broken cry out, Faith stands. As the world transforms, As the road ahead darkens, As we become weary, Faith stands. As we stumble forward, As the shattering continues, As our broken hearts grieve, [...]

The Strength to Soar

Though I would gladly take her pain. I knew that it would be her own strength that would give her the wings she'd need to soar. An Extraordinary State of Being | Jennifer N. and Nichole Fenwick

I am Spirit not Skin

I am Spirit not Skin

For years I struggled with an eating disorder that controlled my life. It wasn’t until I realized that the perfection I so desperately sought was nothing more than a destructive illusion that I sought help and in surrender found peace.