God Bless the 800-Calorie Sandwich by Angela Townsend
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
3w ago
So, here’s the thing about the Meemaw cookbooks. I have no desire to make any of this stuff. But it gives me metaphysical peace to know that someone in Arkansas is eating the 800-calorie sandwich. The Meemaw cookbooks are the dozen Taste of Home Annual Recipes volumes I’ve acquired. With systematic, inexplicable pleasure, I began collecting them the week V. moved out. The 2nd Avenue Thrift Store asked $2.99 per candy-colored hardcover, so I merrily cleaned them out. I intentionally left behind the Cooking Light Annual Recipes. [caption id="attachment_37944" width="474"] Cookbooks by Zamburak ..read more
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Moosehead by John Matthews
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
1M ago
I had just helped a young neighbor, much younger than me, dig an annoying stump out of his yard. We were tired and muddy, but he invited me into his house for a breather. “Have a seat,” he said, pulling out a kitchen chair. “How ‘bout a beer? I’ve got Heineken and Moosehead.” I paused. The choices were so unexpected. “Wow, my two favorite beers in the world! How can I decide?” “I can’t really tell them apart,” he said. Without waiting, he uncapped one of each and set them before me. I hoped he didn’t notice I was blinking back tears. When you get old, fits of nostalgia bring on emotions witho ..read more
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My Father Unknown by Laura Shaine
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
2M ago
[caption id="attachment_37945" width="474"] Door by perriscope (Flickr.com). CC license.[/caption] How do you knock on a door that, all your life, you imagined opening? I stood at a fateful address on the edge of the historic district of Old Cloverdale, in Montgomery Alabama. I had never been to Alabama before and until now, had only one important contact here—Harper Lee. Before my first memoir was published, Harper Lee had read it and written to me, “A beautiful story I shall cherish for years to come.” I was thrilled, of course, but still uncertain— what was my story? Ever since I could spe ..read more
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Angels by Margarita Meyendorf
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
3M ago
We were a half-hour drive from our destination and already thinking of the cool lake we were going to jump into and the scrumptious lunch we had packed when suddenly, my husband Miky accelerated and the connection between the gas pedal and the engine was gone. Just gone. There was nothing there. He pumped the gas pedal, but to no avail. Were we out of gas? No. He went through the gears—we had no gears. Our beloved 1991 VW Westfalia pop-up van sputtered forward in first gear for a few feet more, then in the middle of a long hill, with no civilization or shade in sight, she stopped. Dead. That ..read more
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Weeds Don’t Weep but Gardeners Do. by Nancy Halgren
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
4M ago
Diligent was the only word that could be applied to my father’s pursuit of dandelions in our front yard. Clearly Iremember him in his worn work boots, laced to the top, socks rolled down touching, and an old white t-shirt and shorts of some kind, though never cut offs. Covering his head would be an old sailor’s hat turned down like a white mushroom cap. His clip on sunglasses would cover his regular ones, and the milky colored plastic nose protector was attached to the bridge. He would be bent over with his trusty pocket knife stuck in the earth, prying up their roots before those yellow pinc ..read more
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There’s a Beer that Tastes Like June 1981 by Harry Lee James
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
5M ago
Once upon a time I was a soldier living in a small town on the eastern most edge of what was known at the time as West Germany. [caption id="attachment_37186" width="474"] West Germany Herborn October 1988 by Barbara Ann Spengler. CC license.[/caption] To the East, a little over a mile away, lay a continuous line of fences, mines, walls, watch towers and enemy soldiers that stretched north and south as far as the eye could see. All of that vast array of potential violence marked the end of an old war that waited to be resumed if enough reasons and grievances could be sounded to wake it up fro ..read more
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Kali Gandaki by Connie Clark
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
6M ago
I have a fear of heights. It is a fear of depths, too. Stand on the edge of the Grand Canyon and look down? No, no matter how beautiful it may be. Sit with my legs dangling off a mountain peak? Never. I can’t even look at pictures of people doing these things without flinching. For years, I refused to look over the precipice’s edge into the world of the dying. I ran from them. I turned off the phone, been out of town. I left the room. I have said, “I’m praying for you,” and then didn’t. You would think death was a mighty wave about to engulf me, the way I tried to outrun even a whisper of it ..read more
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Missive From the Snow Globe by Charlotte Matthews
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
7M ago
Not sure how we got here. But here is where we are. My next-door neighbor, Sarah, and her little sister Pearl, and me. We were eating cereal at their red kitchen table, the light of January throwing kaleidoscopes on the wall where their parrokets, Peet and Repeet, perch in a Tiffany blue cage. [caption id="attachment_37181" width="474"] Parakeet by PINKE (flicr.com). CC license.[/caption] We were at the kitchen table one moment. Now, we’re inside this snow globe. On the floor is a circular rug, red and pink with miniature roses, probably wool, like the rugs at the store where Mom works. To th ..read more
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The Letter by Cheryl Somers Aubin
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
1y ago
To the new family I sent a letter about the house and our memories of living there for forty-five years. I did tell them lots of information about the house that they needed to know. I gave advice about things to do. I was helpful. [caption id="attachment_34349" width="520"] Moving Day; it's Snowing by Jo Zimmy Photos. CC license.[/caption] I did not tell them how heartbreaking it was for us to move our mother to a memory care facility —her new forever home. I did tell them we’d been happy. I did tell them about the bleeding hearts that grew by the side of the house and seeing a star-filled s ..read more
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I Don’t Miss You When You’re Not With Me by Bridget Verhaaren
Streetlight Magazine » Essay
by Susan Shafarzek
1y ago
I reach for a glass jar of sweet gherkins and notice the same unfamiliar woman is following me down another aisle in the grocery store. [caption id="attachment_34926" width="474"] Grocery Store by Army the Nurse (flickr.com). CC license.[/caption] I wonder if it is a coincidence. My gut tells me otherwise. The wavy-haired woman is looking down at her phone. Moving toward her, I pretend to search for stone ground mustard. I am now close enough to see she is on social media. Startled I am so near, she stammers, “You, you, you look familiar.” I look at her and know I have never seen her before ..read more
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