“So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”

John Lewis July 2020

Photo by Bing



Flag photo by Pixabay

Crooked Creek is Running Dry

It didn’t happen overnight, but slowly the ideas for blog posts have been reduced to a trickle. There are a few technical problems with the WordPress platform, but if I had more enthusiasm I could, no doubt, work through those. Although I have some serious health problems I’m dealing fine with those. COVID lockdown? It probably would not be fair to blame that either. So, bottom line, I can’t explain the drought of ideas.

I’m going to take a hiatus until the last of August, try to do some serious writing and contemplating and I hope to come back with more depth. Thanks for your patience, thanks for all the hours you’ve spent on Crooked Creek and have a safe summer.


P.S.  I can always be reached in the interim at:



Photo by Pixabay


Book Review

“Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng

I don’t read a lot of novels, but I am very glad that I did not miss this one. The author, a Harvard graduate, has woven the lives of two disparate families into a web that is forever binding. The story involves teenage love, adult secrets and subtle racism.

This book is utterly engrossing and its story lines are complex leaving one considering important issues of life. I recommend it without hesitation.


“Little Fires Everywhere” has won many awards including the #1 New York Times bestseller. It was made into a Hulu series starting Reese Witherspoon.



a summer rain blows in

during the heat of day
and i seek shelter
beneath the canopy of a bald cypress
waiting for the rain to abate,
i examine the trunk
from where it rises
out of the ground
to where it terminates
against a sky of gray
as straight as an arrow,
dressed in shaggy brown bark,
its many thick limbs
branch off
into slender branchlets
with fine rows
of short needle like leaves
staring up into this green canopy,
having forgotten the rain,
i realize
i am completely lost…
in a sanctuary
on a different day
i find a snail shell
and study the spiral design…
i am lost in thought
with how the shell is formed…
from the onset, as a soft tiny mass
increasing in size as the snail consumes calcium and grows,
the shell growing as well,
in bursts,
like the rings of a tree…
i marvel at the spiral shape…
a constantly recurring symbol
in the natural world
that speaks of beginnings
and continuations
not ends
i find that i am lost again…
that nature is my sanctuary…
on a different day 
a fallen feather catches my eye…
and i am instantly fascinated
with the intricate network
of barbs and barbules,
knitted together
to serve a specific purpose…
i imagine the tiny bird
whose feather i hold in my hand,
and the dynamics of flight
as the bird takes wing…
this single feather playing
only a small part
in the sum of the whole
and once again,
i am found…
because i am lost…
in the awe of nature
by Sylvia L. Mattingly
July 18, 2020

A True Hero

America has lost a true hero, Rep. John Lewis has left us to carry on his fight for equality in America. It is not enough to grieve his loss. We must stand up, speak up for justice for all Americans.

He said it best:

John Lewis 1940-2020
Photos by Wikipedia

The Looter

I like to keep Milk Bone on hand for the neighborhood dogs, especially Bailey the little Westie next door. He is always so polite, begs, sits, and then eats every crumb. I kept the treats in a ziplock bag in a large basket on my porch. That worked for a little while.


One morning I went out and found the top off of the basket and the bag of treats spilled over the porch. I thought how unusual that a dog would do that and decided that Tupperware would solve the problem. The following morning again the top was ajar and the plastic container was demolished. Then I thought it was probably a squirrel because I do feed them and chipmunks all winter. Finally, I put the treats in a coffee can thinking I had solved the problem. I forgot that the can had a plastic lid, so the following morning again my basket and treat container had been breached.

It was then that my neighbor who has a doorbell camera informed me that a raccoon was running about the premises. She had watched it drink from her hummingbird feeder and then head toward my house. I assume he was washing down his Milk Bones!

Animals! I love them all but I now keep my dog treats in the house.

Animal photos by Pixabay


Rob Bell

Rob Bell is a bestselling author and international teacher and speaker. I was first introduced to his writing by a friend who never steers me wrong when it comes to books.  I have read two of Bell’s books and plan to read more in the future.

Since the subtitles tell one exactly what the books are about I’m going to list both of them for you in their entirety.

  • “Love Wins” – A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived
  • “What is the Bible?” – How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything

There you have it! This is what these two books are about and I recommend them both. Regardless of how many times you have read the Bible I promise you that you will be enlightened or at least encouraged to look at the Bible in a different way.


Porch Parties

For almost four months now life has been pretty boring due to precautions around the Corona Virus. No eating out, no movies, no shopping, no family gatherings, even medical appointments are curtailed.

One thing that I am thankful for is that I have a front porch. It isn’t large, but 3 or 4 people can sit “socially distant” under two ceiling fans and visit safely. The fans battle the 90 plus degree humid weather and are an addition this summer. I’m very grateful to my daughter and son-in-law for installing them a few weeks ago.

My porch parties have become fun for an occasional brunch or happy hour and the times with friends, family and even dogs help to fill the time during these slow days of the pandemic.

Photo by Jackie Sneve


When Breath Becomes Air

“When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi

If you have questions about life and/or death this book is a must-read. Paul Kalanithi, MD was a brilliant neurosurgeon and scientist who strove to meet his patients’ needs emotionally as well as physically. He had many questions about death while he held the life of his patients in his skilled hands.

At the zenith of Paul’s career while in his fourth decade of life, he learned that he had terminal cancer. During his final months, he wrote this book about facing and accepting that reality. He honestly tells us his fears, doubts, and hopes in the most sensitive way. It is a beautiful story about an extraordinary yet humble life.

His wife, Lucy, completes the book via an epilogue about his final days.


This book is a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.




Still Coping

Covid Calamity

Here we are almost four months in and things are not improving. I’ve posted my thoughts and feelings about the isolation involved with staying safe and I must admit that my resolve to stay productive is waning a bit. As a result, I’m reading a lot of books. You’ve probably noticed all the book reviews on Crooked Creek.

Thanks for bearing with me. I cannot believe that I have all this time and suddenly I have so little to say. I’m not sure what this means for the future of this blog, but time will tell.

Meanwhile, be safe. You know the drill.



Graphics by Pixabay

Book Review by Dianne Bynum

Dianne Bynum is the most prolific reader I know currently. I like to include some of her book reviews to give you a look at different genres. She reads a wide variety of books and I think you will enjoy hearing from her from time to time. Here’s the latest:

“Carter Beats the Devil” by Glen David Gold

Only 480 pages? I could have sworn it was a least 700 pages. So many characters and subplots! When I was about half way through Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold, I remember scanning through to the end to see if I could make It. I wasn’t bored as much as overwhelmed. I felt like this book would have made a wonderful series of books. There are so many good stories revolving around Carter the Great. Charles Carter was a real magician in the early 1900’s but this story has little to do with the real man. President Harding is an important character in the book as well as the creator of the first BMW and the creator of the first electronic television. All of the characters are extraordinary. You won’t find any “everyday people” in this book. This book had a larger than life feel to it, it’s almost like the author was winking at us saying, “I know these characters are over the top, but isn’t it fun?” – there’s a damsel in distress that doesn’t need our help, a villain with a black cloak and a blood thirsty dog and our magician that truly can get out of any scrape with the tools up his sleeves. It’s fun but very involved. I’ll remember the characters long after I remember what they did.