A Million Rose Petals: A D-Day Remembrance

Doni M. Wilson:

This updated essay will run this weekend in the Gray Matters online section of The Houston Chronicle to commemorate the fallen in remembrance of D-Day.

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

On 6 June 1944 Americans stormed French beaches in the Battle of Normandy under commander Dwight D. Eisenhower.  It was the turning point for World War II, and was decisive for defeating Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.


Americans wounded after storming Omaha Beach, 6 June 1944

Yet last year, on my neighborhood street, only one flag other than the one on our house flew in memory of these brave Americans, some of whom gave their lives so that Western Europe, and the West in general, could remain free.

Last year, on television, commemorative profiles of the few veterans remaining alive were overwhelmed by the distressing reports that we had just traded five of the most dangerous terrorists in our own war, the war on terror, in exchange for a soldier who might have deserted, might have collaborated with the enemy.  The White House and journalists in general were okay with…

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Downton Abbey Withdrawal: Not. Pretty.

When I first started watching Downton Abbey, it was an escape from all sorts of things: grading papers, organizing closets, reading books that are really hard and force you to google words that you don’t know.


You know: stuff you have to do.

Well, one of the first things I noticed was the presence of MAGGIE SMITH in her complete perfection, and she had a few ZINGERS, and they were so great, so funny, that you really did not wish her to stop after JUST ONE….(I have the same problem with tortilla chips and those toll house chocolate chip cookies that take only ELEVEN minutes to bake.  I know: a little TOO easy. Very. Dangerous.)

All she had to do was have some lines like this:

Violet: “I’m so looking forward to seeing your mother again. When I’m with her I’m reminded of the virtues of the English.”
Matthew: “Isn’t she American?”
Violet: “Exactly.”

Or this:  “What is a WEEKEND?”  and of course you are laughing, and IT DOES NOT TAKE MUCH TO BE HOOKED.

I kid you not. Continue reading

Spring Fever

Doni M. Wilson:

A version of this appeared a year ago…thinking of my friend Joan Donaldson who lost her son this year…she is a wonderful person and writer, and I am so grateful that I know her.

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

For Joan Donaldson

Today, March 20th, is the first day of Spring.  If you are really in the know, you might call it the Vernal Equinox, and do that little experiment in which you test an egg and see if it shares the equilibrium that is supposed to infuse the day.  This winter was not any colder than usual in Texas, yet I have been longing for everything to warm up, even though I know friends from other parts of the country have had it much rougher.  My friends post messages that lament the snow, even if it does look beautiful.  Rarely have I had to deal with ice on my windshield in Houston, although it was freezing when I visited San Antonio in February. I hadn’t even thought about ice since I lived in North Carolina, but there, I just told everyone I was from Texas and stayed inside…

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Scarlet Letters, Waking Up, and Social Engineering

Originally posted on Reflection and Choice:

illu_237 “Don’t Worry. It’s just a fake baby.”

A version of this essay also appears today in the Gray Matters section of The Houston Chronicle, 5 February 2015.  You can read it here:


This essay was also published on 23 December 2013 in The Imaginative Conservative.

I have a friend, let’s call her Tancy, since that is her name, and she has a child attending school in Magnolia, Texas.  Now I cannot think of a more idyllic name for a Texas town, and it is absolutely beautiful and tree laden, but apparently small towns have their problems too.

They have rejected Rousseau and have public schools.

Anyway, her child has the following assignment: she can either carry a fake baby around for a few weeks, thus experiencing the perils of parenthood (it is hard to replicate the joys of parenthood with a fake baby), or, she can write a three page…

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