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Lisa Kelley

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The night before Christmas

Santa knows all, gives great gift

"911, what's your emergency?"

Baptism, watermelon, coffee

Circumstances lead to grateful encounter

I wasn't sure which building of the Methodist church to enter, so I aimed for the one with the highest steeple and opened the large white door. I was early -- which, by societal standards, means I was timely -- a feat which ranks in rarity with Halley's comet and the Cubs winning the pennant. My mama used to say I was born late and had been late ever since, chiding me that the early bird gets the worm. I'd counter that the second mouse gets the cheese. She would roll her eyes and declare how I'd be late to my own funeral, which I never saw as a bad thing.

Holiday horror hideout

Classic films sure to scare

Since downsizing to my little loft in the heart of Bentonville, I've greatly reduced the size of my holiday decor. Whereas once I had a dozen Halloween knick-knacks and 20 Thanksgiving baubles strewn about, I now have a couple -- an iron black cat and a denim pumpkin -- commanding center stage. I think the little buggers stand straighter these days, as though they know they beat out the competition.

Orange you difficult?

Color signals trouble ahead

"I don't care much for the color orange," I randomly blurted to my friend, Karen, as we sauntered through the craft fair booths. "It seems like trouble to me."

The open road

And finding your way home

Without a doubt, I'm a nester. Instead of twigs and leaves, I use embroidered cotton sheets, cozy tufted chairs and hand-stitched quilts. Laptops and cell phones mingle with milk glass and century-old tables. I ride a new hybrid bicycle and drive a 1978 Ford F-100. My nest is a soothing blend of past and present woven in a gentle hope of good things to come.

Dream reveals all

Running naked, changing batteries

This hallway seems vaguely familiar, with institutional green plaster and gray lockers. But it's so dimly lit I can hardly make out the numbers on the doors. That looks like a "7," but I can't be sure. What did my schedule show?

Tuesdays with Art

Friendship cemented over soups, sandwiches

"What does this say," I asked, pointing to a note scribbled in blue ink in his yearbook.

Worth every percent

Eclipse fulfills childhood dream

You can tell a lot about a person by peering into their childhood bedroom. Sunny yellow shelves filled with storybooks and stuffed animals towered above orange shag carpeting in the room that raised me. A built-in desk housed pencils and stationery and the latest scribblings of unfinished poems and stories. The window was perpetually open, allowing a steady breeze to drift in from the valley. On warm summer nights, I could be found listening to both kinds of music -- country and western -- surrounded by walls drenched in an odd blend of girly trinkets, pithy quotes and fighter jet posters. I wanted to be pretty and smart and a test pilot and marry Magnum, P.I., who I hoped would move stateside because NASA wasn't based in Hawaii.

Dog's nose knows

Without saying a word humans say so much

EDITOR'S NOTE: Lisa Kelley is away this week. Writing in her stead is her dog, Baxter.

Sole-searching Southern wedding

Couple doesn’t get far from country roots

If the shoe fits

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