Tell Me a Story





Tell me a story, Aunt Lisa.

My niece’s eyes plead.  Her smile dances.   She waits expectantly, ready to leap from a precipice and embrace stories of the past: escapades of her mom or me or her Uncle Dan.  And sometimes these stories detour into the world of make believe silliness.

Tell us a story, Lisa.

I still see them. My younger brother and sister bounce up and down, eager.  Their eyes twinkle.  I write a play to act out.  The living room transforms into a stage and the words come to life.  I pen a radio program to record and send to Grandma, or perhaps a book tied together with yarn that features each as the main character.  They smile.  They laugh.

Tell me a story, Grandma.

Really, I didn’t have to ask.  I still hear her Southern voice telling stories of Appalachia, where she and Grandpa grew up.  These tales brim with unusual names,  strange ways and mysterious places. I sit captivated.

And so…I tell stories.

Sometimes words crash inside my mind like a cascade of waves against Lake Michigan’s shoreline.  Other times…they glide…rolling… drifting into my heart as a summer day on the Platte River.  But they are always there, somewhere.  They wait.  They rattle.  Then they call out for me to hear them.  An essay.  A short story.  A narrative of someone else’s life or talent.  And once that household of words are expressed on the page, another assemblage gathers and waits for their day.  I hope for a brief intermission.  Always, I’m longing to meet them.




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