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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April 12, 2017
lisakunk

18 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 […]

March 27, 2017
lisakunk

10 comments

School Band: Great for improving Musical Ability, Physical Fitness, and Interpersonal Skills

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman (Originally Posted in The Charlotte Observer in 2014) Ready or not, high school class registration for next year is about to begin. Elective courses range from automotive services to yoga to oodles of other classes to consider– including marching band.  This isn’t yesteryear’s stereotype of geeky kids playing the school fight song. […]

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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24 comments

Lives Worth Remembering, Stories Worth Telling

By Lisa Batten Kunkleman My hometown lost a treasure recently. A popular music teacher and friend to so many,  Carol’s unexpected death left people speechless, unable to fathom the senselessness of the loss. Unable to accept that someone took her life. For those of us fortunate enough to know Carol, we each have cherished memories […]

August 17, 2016
lisakunk

4 comments

Pre Speech Aphasia Comedy Storytelling: Daddy Was a Talker

Goldilocks and the Seven Dwarfs Meet Rudolph With the Big Red Snout By Lisa Batten Kunkleman Before strokes and who-knows-what caused speech aphasia leaving Daddy (Papa Carl) with only about twenty-one words, he was a funny fellow. Downright embarrassing to his wife and kids at times with his humor. He liked to watch us squirm. […]

2 comments

Can My Hound Tell Time?

Can My Hound Tell Time? By: Lisa Batten Kunkleman It’s five o’clock somewhere. Yes, indeed, it’s here, in my house. Somehow my dogs know it’s supper time and start pacing, then patting me on the leg as I sit typing at my desk. Our hound dog Sadie even starts faking asthma and breathing heavily. She […]

4 comments

Let Your Little Light Shine

Lisa Batten Kunkleman   I used to feel so guilty sitting at my computer for hours at a time. People walking by have no idea what I write, type, or peruse on that wide screen. My husband is always busy, looking productive while I must look anything but. He does nothing to make me feel […]

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