Life Stories and Beyond

Our Bodies. Our Families. Our Lives. We all have stories we should share. We're more alike than we know.

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May 23, 2017
lisakunk

13 comments

All Tuckered Out: Training a Puppy Named Tucker

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman   Tending a puppy is a reminder of what life is like with toddlers around. Exhausting. Time consuming. Frustrating. Impossible. I’ll try to remember that most dogs do end up house-broken and finish teething. I made it through the toddler-years-times-four, and my kids are all potty trained and no longer bite. […]

May 5, 2017
lisakunk

29 comments

Mayfly Plague

What do you call millions of mayflies swooping in and covering your house, boat, cars and ground? Annoying? Ridiculous? I call it a plague. When these two-inch long cousins of the dragonfly swarm in, there’s nothing to do but watch in amazement. They covered our family lake retreat in eastern North Carolina with the speed […]

April 12, 2017
lisakunk

14 comments

Life, the Great Classroom

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman   I’ve always wanted to be a professional student. If time and money allowed, I’d be signing up to audit all kinds of classes. No tests or projects for grades, thank you. Now that we have an empty nest, how fun it would be to sneak, unseen, into the back of […]

26 comments

Mom, Where Should The Ambulance Take Me?

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman I answered my cell and heard, “Mom, I kinda dislocated my knee. Which hospital should the ambulance take me to?” If only our son Sam’s kneecap were simply dislocated and not shattered into six pieces when he fell while doing pull-ups, that would have been almost delightful. This event was the […]

Walnuts and My Tom Sawyer Moment

October 23, 2016


 

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman

My twenty-year old son Sam walks barefoot in our backyard picking up walnuts with his long, thin, size thirteen toes. It’s a special talent I passed down to him with my own sizable hoof.

When the nuts fall off the black walnut tree, the nearly baseball sized hard green outer shell is a threat to an uncovered head. As the green shell dries to black and falls off the actual nut deep inside, the black shells become a nasty nuisance. It takes gloves and rakes to remove the staining shells then. It’s much smarter to remove them in the early hard stage instead of waiting till they dye your hands and shoes black.

A light bulb flickers in my head. I’m not Mark Twain and this is not really Tom Sawyer tricking folks into whitewashing his fence, but I can’t help thinking this seems like a good way to get the walnuts picked out of the yard.

I say to Sam, “Think you could hit that sweet gum tree with a walnut?”

“Which one?” he asks.

“That big one in that leafy natural area. The squirrels haul the nuts over there to chomp into the hard shells anyway. Never let a squirrel bite you. They must have teeth of steel.”

“Mama, I got bad aim,” Sam says after pitching the first nut to the right of the tree.

“Yeah and you also “got” bad grammar,” I tell my six-foot three baby boy who actually has impeccable grammar.

“Naw, my grammar’s all right.”

He throws one walnut after the other, hitting the tree and splattering the green outer shell about every third throw.

Next thing I know, here comes his daddy, saying, “Want me to show you how to hit that tree?”

This is working out even better than I expected. His father is not a bystander.

“There we go,” says Daddy Dan when he hits the tree. And I hear, “All right! Did you see that one, Sam? Did you see that nut explode when it hit the tree? Maybe that sweet gum tree will feel the pain and stop dropping spikey sweet gum balls.

“Hey! I want to play,” says our oldest daughter flouncing down the deck steps to join the competition. Perfect. Many hands make light work, as they say. And like Tom Sawyer’s friends, my family never even knows they’re working.

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15 comments

Hurricane Matthew Pictures: Show, Don’t Tell

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman They say a picture is worth a thousand words. They also say writers should use their words to show, not tell. These pictures of our family’s house at Lake Waccamaw, NC  and all the Facebook photos and videos, plus news reports speak volumes about the unpredictability of flood waters. Lumberton, my […]

June 11, 2016
lisakunk

20 comments

Milk Leaks and Dog Leaks

  By Lisa Batten Kunkleman My day began with a soft pat on the arm and a nuzzle against my fingers. No, this was not my husband. It was our people-phobic beautiful FAT black cat, Daisy Mae. I had received a gift from the object of everyone’s desire. When I tried to return the caress, […]

May 10, 2016
lisakunk

14 comments

They Caught One!

By Lisa Kunkleman They caught one! They actually did it! I never thought I’d be burying a squirrel caught by my squirrel-chasing dogs. I’ll call him ‘Little Guy’. Probably one of the little acrobats I enjoy watching run around our trees like they’ve had a triple shot of espresso. I call them North Carolina’s monkeys. […]

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