What I learned from my high school drum line director

I just fell down a rabbit hole on my high school Drumline Director’s Facebook page. Jeffery Scott Dudley is leaving Belton High School after more than twenty years of teaching kids to play music. Right now he’s the Director of Bands at BHS, but when I met him in the summer of 1995, he was a teacher I’d never heard of who asked me at band tryouts to clap to the beat. I clapped; he smiled. He put me on his list of students who could keep rhythm, a kid with drumming potential. I was 10. I felt discovered. That…

All my selfies – 2015

For the last three years I have taken the same selfie every day. The video here is every selfie from 2015. I started these videos because of a segment I was doing for Cities 97, and I haven’t stopped. A little reminder pops up from the Everyday App, and I stop what I’m doing and take a selfie. It takes 45 seconds to see my year play out. I must have been too hungover for a selfie on January 1 because the first selfie is me at work with my favorite cowl I’ve ever made (#knittingnerd). The third is in a…

We have a hobo

There is a man storing his belongings behind our garage. When we first investigated the hobo pile (currently behind the dangling ‘No Trespassing’ sign put up by the previous owner), there were shoes, a vacuum cleaner, a sleeping bag, a blazer, a computer monitor, a book of family photos, and smaller miscellany in the brush. The pile was there when we looked at the house the first time in February. When we bought the house in May, the collection hadn’t moved, shoes still askew, vacuum laying down with handle pointed due south. We thought these things were abandoned, but we…

If you see something, say something

Last night while we crawled into bed, my husband looked at me with tears in his eyes. He said, “I just read the news.” I didn’t bother to ask which news. Was it the Senate vote to defund Planned Parenthood? Was it this weeks NYT profile on Robert Dear? Is it more fear from the Paris shootings? Is it the federal lawsuit filed by the state of Texas to stop Syrian families from being resettled there? Yes. It’s all of those things. I woke up this morning thinking about what to do. Here’s what I would tell my sister or a friend or…

in with the old

I’m sitting in the room I grew up in. We moved here when I was six. On the end of my bed is a quilt my grandmom made for me with the state of Texas sewn over large squares of white. Sunlight comes in through a window, and in the patch of backyard outside the window I remember sitting and building a fence with my dad while our new Siberian Husky puppy, Misha, ran through the yard and into my eight year-old lap. I won’t be in this house long. It’s been a month, and at the most I’m anticipating…