Category Archives: Faith

9/11 Before and After

It is 2001.  Everything is in order in the Powell household.  There are 4 little boys ages 10, 8, 7, and 5.   Daddy works and Mom stays home, homeschooling the boys, teaching them the catechism, tending the vegetable garden, and living a quiet life centered around church and family.  All is safe and secure.

Mom is washing the breakfast dishes and the boys turn on the TV to catch the last bit of Blue’s Clues before lessons begin.

Fox News comes on.  Momma, why is there smoke coming out of the building?  Continue reading

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Miss Molly Goes to Harvard

Not your average first day of school story from not your average Harvard Law student 

It is the fall of 1985, and I have arrived at Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Other students enter the dorm carrying duffel bags and milk crates.  I have matched luggage, a U-Haul trailer, and two parents in tow. We unload, creating for me a nest of familiar things.

I miss Mr. Joe – the wizened African-American man who worked for my family for many years doing yard work and odd jobs.  He had always helped me move in and out of college dorms at Auburn.  One year he told my mom ”I do believe that Miss Molly is moving out more than she moved in.” I don’t think I would have ever lived it down if Mr. Joe had helped me move in at Harvard.

My parents start the 24-hour drive back to sweet home Alabama, Continue reading

Bogey was Here

“The aim of the boy is to tell the world  ‘I am a force to be reckoned with.’”  Having known four boys quite well, I agree.  Here are some thoughts on boys finding their callings.

Dear Sons,

On a morning walk through Krutch Park  in downtown Knoxville, I notice something that should not be there.

The juvenile scrawl, in black Sharpie marker on the creek-side boulder, proclaims to all who pass  “Bogey was here.” Other stones bear witness to the date and time of the visit and to Bogey’s love of soccer.  One displays a drawing of a flag, firmly planted in the rock.   Bogey left his mark.

When I come across the vandalism, I am confused and even angered.  How can a child be so selfish? How could he have so little respect for the beauty of the setting, provided by the goodness of another?  And even the self-righteous “Where was his mother?” These are valid questions, but not the most interesting.  Instead, why did Bogey do it?

I think of the upcoming events of the day.   We are in Knoxville for Owen to compete in the decathlon in an attempt to qualify for the National AAU Junior Olympics Continue reading

The Upside of an Upside-Down Resume

The Upside of an Upside-Down Resume

Recently I had to update my resume.  While no one really enjoys the task, it is just one of those things regularly done, like taking out the trash or going to the dentist.

But I had not touched the thing in 24 years.  When you are self-employed or volunteering, no one is checking a resume.  A husband, trusting you with everything he owns and is, does not scan your educational credentials.  A child, about to give you the significant task of becoming his mother, does not first look for evidence of parenting skills.

But my husband and I had been invited to apply to join an organization called L3, and, unfortunately, they needed a resume.

After searching in vain for a digital copy of my old one (Did I even have a computer in 1988?), I decided to start from scratch.  I found a template online and began.

Name, address, and education:  Auburn University.  Harvard Law School.  I’m on a roll here.  This is not so bad. Continue reading

Reputation as an Idol

During the heart-breaking trial of Jerry Sandusky I wrote a letter to my 4 sons about the potential problems with pursuing a good reputation. I shared the letter on Facebook, and World Magazine picked it up and published it.

Click here to read “Reputation as an Idol.”