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Writer, seamstress, knitter, gardener. Toastmaster. Middle-Pause: Editor, STOMP! Podcast sound engineer. Tell me a story!

So I can bring fresh produce to the community

purple bush beans on the vine
purple bush beans on the vine

I learned about bush beans from a young co-worker. She told me all they needed was a basic tomato cage to keep them from collapsing to the ground.

When she was growing up, her family kept a garden because they were dirt poor. During the summer, that garden fed them when the welfare check ran out.

The biggest surprise is how beautiful these beans are. Next year, I’m planting them in the front flower garden. They will provide an inviting pop of color in July.

I wanted to show a picture of the actual package, but I can’t. I gave…

They keep my home happy.

My husband has few wants, but the one thing that makes his morning is fresh blueberries at breakfast.

How my quest for blueberries started

Blueberries were hard to find during the Pandemic until I discovered Aldi’s.

I don’t know how their supply chain works, but 8-ounce containers of blueberries appear on their shelves every week. This week they are from North Carolina, but they’ve even come from Canada, Chile, Mexico, Michigan, and Peru.

I’m sure the cashiers wanted to press the panic button when I thanked them for stocking them. Their worried expressions said it all when I gushed, “Your blueberries are saving my marriage.”


This year is like the great fish that got away

Hello Seekers,

It’s been a year since I’ve sent out a newsletter. I put it off, as I explored new topics and visited new publications. I’m back now and hope readers and writers will fill me in on what I’ve missed.

This summer, I’ve been out and about visiting Minnesota parks and trails for work. So far, I’ve visited 8 new parks in less than a month.

I’ve met a retired pastor, a jockey, and families of all ages and sizes. One caregiver brought her elderly client to share the day with her own family.

I’ve seen women back down the boat…

The young man’s gallantry was real.

Red rose surrounded by pink smoke
Red rose surrounded by pink smoke

The Gallant Courtier

Memories of the faux red rose kept my dreams afloat during a rough patch in my teen years.

It was Valentine’s Day at Central High school. I was a senior making my way to my next class in the crowded halls.

I heard a student’s voice call, “Margaret. . . Margaret. I have something for you.”

I didn’t think he meant me until he stopped me and said, “Margaret. Margaret. Look at me.”

He was thin, with wispy brown hair and long bangs. …

Here’s Why

puffy clouds over a bright blue sea viewed from above
puffy clouds over a bright blue sea viewed from above

I struggle with SEO keywords

I’m tired of the time and effort I spend stoking a title for a higher rating in the hopes that I will get more traffic. I don’t write Medium articles that morph into supernovas.

When I start on a story I’m exploring an idea and it takes a few drafts for the main points to emerge. I’d be lost if I didn’t have subheads to separate my key points. Having a visual representation helps me see the central idea.

I’m a storyteller, not a journalist.

I’ve read dozens of articles on how to write better headlines and it is simply not my forte. …

Even when we don’t agree.

Arlington Hills Community Center
Arlington Hills Community Center

Since I’ve been fully vaccinated for a month, I was certain my state would be at the 70% herd immunity rate by June 1st.

I was wrong.

In early June, I read an article in my local paper about three zip codes in my community that were well below the 70% 7-county metro area vaccination rate. What bummed me out the most was that I lived in one of them.

When the Minneapolis mayor lifted the mask mandate for businesses, the St Paul Mayor lifted our city’s mask mandate a few days later. In under a week, nobody needed to…

I’m proud.

Two girls hugging at the beach
Two girls hugging at the beach

I have a sister who is 21 months older than me. As young children, whenever we parted, we kissed each other goodbye and we hugged when we returned home. My mother put us in separate bedrooms, but by morning we were in the same bed. We couldn’t stand to be apart.

There’s a reason, but I didn’t discover it until I was eleven.

She had been diagnosed with autism early — around age three. She received early intervention services that enabled her to speak and interact socially.

She was placed in Catholic schools where nuns were the primary educators. At…

Prose Poem

Butterfly Monarch

monarch butterfly on orange marigold
monarch butterfly on orange marigold

I saw a Monarch.
My spirits soared to the sky.

It plays with the daylily leaves
in the humid heat.

Awake, awake, living beings.

Is the butterfly as surprised as me?

It cruises the street,
stopping at columbines
and dandelions.

Happy to be alive, as children running under a sprinkler.

Arise, my friends and neighbors.
Summer’s heat is upon us.

Spring’s joy is in spotlight.
Back from the fall and winter retreat.

We are not too late
to change the world.

One butterfly lifted the load
off my heart.

I’m not alone.

The native pollinators
Keep buzzing the message
on the…

a poem

I’ve seen the past castings of my sister spiders.

They lurk in the corners of things forgotten.

I’m Tired.
I’m Angry.
I’m Upset.

I’m one of three.
But Beware. . .

There are multiples of me.

I’ve squandered my life on creatures
inhabiting a human host.

I’ve watched elaborate webs spun to entice the Heedless.

The intoxicating first bite brought them the elixir of immortality.

I’ve received many a bite and have the hives to prove it.

Don’t enter that House or
Climb the Attic Stairs.

If nothing else —
Bring your broom with you.

If you can’t sweep the…

And I wish they were in charge every day.

young Black man walking in the street
young Black man walking in the street

A few weeks ago I had a busy Saturday. I was getting my first vaccine. Now I get it but didn’t at first. 5:00 pm and I needed to stock up since I didn’t know how woozy I’d feel after the shot.

At every place I stopped, the person in charge was under 25.

You know what? They are excellent at their jobs. I got clear directions and answers to all my questions.

But first, I had to check on my mom.

My 98-year-old mother might be frail, but she is particular about food. That’s why I used the drive-through to get coffee and a chicken sandwich. …

Margie Pearl

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