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I had big plans for this week. I could hear sweet freedom calling my name. My antibodies would surely allow me at least a week or two free from the worry of COVID.

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The weatherman says a winter storm might be on the way. Of course, by the time you read this it will have either come or not.

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Yes. COVID has made its way to my house.

Michael and I both have it, and we’re fine.

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Hibernation is hard. I don’t know how bears do it.

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Last spring a gray cat showed up in our yard. He’d sit at the fence line or on the brush pile and stare in our window. He lived in the barn.

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I used to be really into wrestling. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was one of my favorites, God rest his soul, and he was in this movie called “They Live.” It came on one night after wrestling and I recorded it on a VHS.

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Here in our household we started off 2020 with a new baby. That was the nice part. We stayed in to keep her from catching the flu. I looked forward to the end of flu season so that I could proudly parade my two beautiful children around to all of my favorite thrift stores and buffet dining establishments ( I can’t believe I haven’t had Pizza Hut lunch buffet in over a year!).

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The new year is almost among us, and I guess it’s what we have all been waiting on. There’s always been this terrible reasoning that as soon as 2020 was over, so would be our problems. I don’t think that’s going to be the case at all, but I’m not going to think about that now. I’ll think abo…

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Last night I made chili for dinner. I meant to make spaghetti but didn’t have any sauce. So chili it was. It was a little hot, so I put cheese in it. It was still too hot, so I ate it with cheese toast. 

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I drove to pick up some pizzas Saturday night. The wonderful Thanksgiving leftovers had basically run out, and I guess I just wasn’t ready to return to the diet I started after I took a food sensitivity test that told me not to eat cow’s milk or peanuts or some other things that basically made up my entire diet.

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Looking back through the months of this year I can’t help but feel robbed.

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Last week I found myself thinking about the history of our nation and whether we were doomed to start repeating its cruelest events — or continue to in some cases.

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By the time you read this maybe we will know who is going to be the president here for the next four years or maybe we won’t.

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I guess the end of year holidays are my favorite. They come so closely together, and instead of rushing straight to Christmas I like to savor the moments of all the individual days and what they have to offer.

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I guess I don’t feel much like writing anything these days. When I write all of my thoughts turn to politics and illness and how they are intertwined. I’d rather just sit on the porch and stare at my Cottonwood tree.

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During the summer between seventh and eighth grade a few of my friends and I attended a summer program. It was like school in the summer, only we got personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut one day a week.

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I used to say that politics was my football. I don’t give a single care about football. Never have, and don’t understand people who go crazy over it to the point that I often feel they are just faking. But I’ve always loved keeping up with politics. And I’ve gone crazy over them a time or two.

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I was driving through town the other day and started to think about all the places in town that aren’t what they used to be.

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I had my first Saturday morning out and about in town in as long as I can remember this weekend. It may have been the first one this year. I was excited for it because I haven’t been clothes shopping for little sister in an actual store since she was born

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Nearly a decade ago, I guess it was, that I first heard Kathryn Tucker Windham telling a story on the Sundial Writers Corner on WLRH.

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Up until a few days ago I’d been living in a fog that rarely lifted for several months. Just before COVID made its way into our lives here in the United States, my thyroid troubles returned.

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I tried to write a column last week, but I said a lot of things that maybe weren’t nice so I decided I’d take the week to see if I could cool off a little.

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Sometimes I think back on news stories that have bothered me over the years. There was one in Mobile and one in Huntsville, where the city council was trying to decide how many chickens people could have in their yards, and whether or not they could have a rooster at all.

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I’ve lost track of which stage of grief I’m at when it comes to losing my old way of life. At any rate, I definitely am not feeling accepting of the situation anymore.

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There have been many times throughout my life when I have felt left behind.  Mostly by friends at one time or the other, either they went off to a different college than me or got a job and made new friends and there I was just still hanging around doing whatever.

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When it started, I thought I’d have a funny story to tell. But when it ended, the story was sad.

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Sunday was Mother’s Day. I got a nap. It wasn’t wrapped in beautiful paper or topped with a bow, but it was more loved and cherished than diamonds or pearls could ever have been.

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When spring comes I always feel like it’s the most beautiful time of year. Things turn green overnight, and that’s usually what I notice the most. This year though, since things are calmed down and there is no where to be besides sitting on my front porch or looking out my back window, I’ve noticed a lot more.

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There are three occasions in which I believe a so-called backslider such as myself ought to step across the threshold of the church house throughout the course of the year: pastor appreciation, homecoming and Easter. For reasons obvious to all, I did not get to attend sunrise service this year.

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For a month or two every time I got into my car and listened to the news it seemed they were talking about the coronavirus. That’s when it was in China. There, everyone was wearing masks because that was the polite thing to do, and one man said he had watched an awful lot of Netflix.

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I want to write something about something that doesn’t matter. I want to sit here at my computer and tell you about how I’m sick of the rain, or about the $75 worth of seeds I got in the mail last week. 

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The past few days around here have been nerve-racking as everything. At the end of last week I was sitting on a blanket on the floor with the kids and the cat.

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It’s happening. Our house is finally getting fixed. The contractor says it should only take a week and a half and that we don’t have to move out. I feel like this is too good to be true, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

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By this time next week little sister will be almost a week old. We’ll call her Nellie James, short for Eleanor.

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Thanksgiving, oh Thanksgiving. It truly is one of my favorite holidays.

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A little while back I finally started recycling.  I always thought that doing so would lend some relief to the years of guilt I had from not starting recycling sooner. That hasn’t really been the case though.

Danielle Wallingsford Kirkland is a former Sentinel staff writer and correspondent. She can be reached at danielle.w.kirkland@gmail.com.

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I know some people don’t like it much, but I sure am enjoying this cold spell. After a long stretch of feeling like I’m always covered in an electric blanket and freezing everyone else to death by keeping the heat on 65 I finally got chilly enough to turn it up on 68 and rest with a blanket over me today.

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I’ve always heard that home is where the heart is. I guess I’ve always believed it too. But the past few days have made me reconsider this old saying.

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It used to be on Halloween that I loved to dress up and eat candy, but I also loved to watch a good scary movie. I’d be nervous in the dark for a while, but my nerves could handle it and for some reason it was fun to be scared. Sadly, my nerves just won’t allow me to indulge in fear anymore.

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After Mama finished telling me about some cousins of mine who hitchhiked from here to California I asked her whether or not that might be where I get my yearning for adventure from. She laughed and said it could be, as her own mama’s side of the family sometimes lived like gypsies.

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It was cold yesterday, and I like the cold. I’ve always loved to walk around in the woods when it’s cold. I guess that’s because I feel comfortable knowing that a snake isn’t going to get me.

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2018 has been a rough year for me in some ways, and it has done nothing to erase my constant questioning about whether I’ve done anything productive with my life or whether I ever will.