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 [...]

A Story of Strength

A Story of Strength

Over and over again, I have learned where my strength truly lies. I thought surviving alcohol addiction and overcoming a lifelong eating disorder made me strong. I thought witnessing my child win her battle with cancer made me strong. I thought surviving the death of my father, my beautiful niece, my sister-in-law, and the murder [...]