Two stories and one picture from the other side

loch-lomond

by Amanda Cleary Eastep We stepped up to our ankles in the cold water, careful to keep our footing on the gray and brown mosaic of smooth stones beneath our pale feet. This simple act was a pinnacle moment–leaving our shoes on the gritty sand of the “bonny, bonny bank” and walking together into Loch […]

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Travels with a Plantser

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I dragged the line on the Google map from the A1 highway to a road along the coast of the UK that looked like a long piece of birthday crepe paper that had been crumpled up and (uselessly) stretched out again. According to Google calculations, taking that squiggly route instead of […]

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Childhood Dreams, Second Callings

scotland

By Amanda Cleary Eastep This is a dream come true moment. I remember crawling up there and asking my traveling companion to capture my “I’ll never forget this place, this lake, this rock” moment. Well, I’ve forgotten. I mean, I know I was in Scotland, but exactly where, I don’t recall now. But that’s OK, […]

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Obeying a Call (even if it means fishsticks)

children-running

By Amanda Cleary Eastep The Small boys lived next door to us in the “new subdivision,” one round block of bi-levels and tri-levels on the outskirts of a small farm town. In the summer, all of us children scattered, bike wheels and skinny legs carrying us all the way to the other side of the […]

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Friendly Advice 5 cents

By Amanda Cleary Eastep I had settled into a comfy writing spot at a tiny coffeehouse & bookstore in Fairhope, Alabama when two older women toddled in pushing a stand just like the one Lucy uses in the Peanuts comic to dole out “helpful” advice. They asked if they could take one of the chairs […]

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This is us: the story of midlife writers and co-conspirators

By Amanda Cleary Eastep It was a year ago November that Michelle Van Loon and I met for the first time. I was attending the Deeply Rooted conference in Chicago with my daughter and two friends, and Michelle was a speaker. She delivered her message about restlessness (which just happens to be my middle name) […]

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Growing Deep–and Broad–Roots in the Dirt and Light

By Amanda Cleary Eastep  I was behind the wheel for the first time at the age of 9. OK, so it was just a lawn tractor, and I didn’t see the tree coming. I was looking over my shoulder at the cart I was pulling with my little brother and two older cousins riding in […]

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