We have come to the end of another month so I thought now would be as good a time as any to go on a written journey back through the days of June.

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Flowers have perplexed me for a long time.

Not the actual plants and petals of them, but the tendency to give them as gifts for a certain holiday or other occasion.

For most of my life, I wondered why men rushed to the florist to buy a bouquet.

It didn’t seem quite right to profess undying love with flowers which would, in fact, die.

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When I was a kid, I hit a phase when I wanted a pen pal.

Maybe I was intrigued with the possibility of communication with a person somewhere in the wide world beyond the limits of the map dot I call home.

I was still young enough to get mail sent by someone who didn’t want my money so maybe it was the childish thrill of a letter addressed to me and hidden, like a surprise, in the mailbox.

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Some time ago, I presented myself with a challenge to write a fictional short story because I’d never written one before and I wanted to see if I could.

The result was rejected by at least three magazines and lost one contest, but I think it was a success.

I proved something to myself, which was enough.

Since Sue’s prompt today is “story,” now seems like a good time to post this one.

I guess it’s a tale about how some things change as years go by, and some things stay the same.

It was just another Tuesday, and I was just another 15-year-old sophomore in high school.

My mind had little regard for anything except girls, sports, what I’d eat for lunch and how I’d get through math class.

I didn’t have a cell phone or a driver’s license.

I was nowhere near New York City or the World Trade Center.

Terrorism was just a word.

I’m 32 now. Things are different.

I know you might skim this story on your cell phone. I know you might be too young to remember what happened.

Maybe you weren’t even born.

Maybe all you know about Sept. 11, 2001, came from what you’ve seen on social media or heard in history class.

My friend wrote a column about Sept. 11 last week, in which she made a wonderful point about what I remember most from the the day’s aftermath. I’ve thought about you since I read it. I thought about you again this morning, when I saw an Instagram post from a history teacher who had students interview someone who has a clear memory of what happened 17 years ago today to help them see a different picture of one of America’s most disasterous days.

I’ll never forget what unfolded in those hours.

If you can’t remember, and you have a minute to spare, I’d like to try to take you to a time when the history you’ve heard was just heartbreak. (more…)

A Randy Travis interview came on the radio while I drove home from work the other day.

It was recorded before his 2013 stroke, which almost cost him his life and has made communication more difficult than it once was for the singer of more than a dozen No. 1 songs.

This is less about Travis, though, than it is about the questions which creeped into my mind when I thought about how quickly things changed for him.

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I have listened a lot in the last few days.

I have listened to a lot of opinions on a lot of different things since the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia.

I have opinions on a lot of things, most of which I will keep to myself because they aren’t important.

I will address some things, however, and I will start with a story. (more…)