Shelley Armitage | Author
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Shelley’s Blog

Sometimes I feel the old house calling to me through its almost 100 years of existence.  Through its builder, Jess Giles, its subsequent owners, my great Aunt Alice and Uncle Vern.  Through the no doubt mice ridden electrical system and sputtering toilet, the kitchen's hot water barely warming the dinner dishes as it makes its way from the basement water heater upstairs.  Nighttimes there I can sometimes hear something in the old chimney (the red foxes occasionally spotted? a squirrel? what?), a comfort rather than a scare. This past...

I'd just engaged in an argument with a feisty Cuban-American woman in which I said nothing. Nada, y pues nada.  I was speechless though alert to what was about to happen when I saw her striding down the hall to the lost baggage claim, flanked by children and perhaps her mother, dragging a luggage trolley stacked high, bearing the same weary look we all had--all of us just arrived at the Tampa airport from Havana.  She was shouting, shall I say, discouraging words. I had her bag all right....

Growing up I liked to think about how my home-town region had been called "a sea of grass."  Riding out to our farm where there was still native grass stretching to the horizon, I imagined the Spaniards' and American Expedition leaders' apprehension as they tried to lay track across the llano estacado. But years later, the weight of that epithet really came home to me as I gazed at the ocean surrounding O'ahu near University of Hawai'i where I was teaching.  When the local swimmers took off unfazed into...