My mother passed away two days after Christmas in 2016, and in the year following her death and going through my mother’s belongings I came to realize that, to some degree, she was hoarding.

Now I myself know the difficulty of throwing some things away, or the mild worry of running out of shampoo or toothpaste or hand soap and not having any in the house. And along those lines, I think, my mother was hoarding quite specific things.

A lovely photograph of my mother as a young woman.

A little bit about my mother: she was born in 1932, a child of Depression Era Johnston County in North Carolina…


I spoke to a man yesterday who was at first, as they sometimes are, a bit wary of me. Let’s call him Tom.

“So who are you? What are you calling about?”

These are questions I often get as folx are pretty caught off guard when a stranger asks them how they are doing with everything that’s going on. He said that he was fine, or mostly fine- as most people say. He said, more than once, that he was an old guy, an “old codger” and seemed to downplay why anyone would call him to ask what we could…


Hey, I want to share with you about a call I had yesterday that I’m still thinking about.

David is from a rural county in Western North Carolina. We’ll call him “David,” as that’s his first name. His first name, as though we are his familiars. And the conversation began as they always do: we said hello, of course, and I asked how he was doing. “Just fine,” came the reply, which is what most people say. We chatted a few moments and I shared with him a bit about how I’m doing. …


I was out of half & half this morning, and it was early, around 6am, so I had to spend a few moments figuring out what would be open. Once I settled on a store that wasn’t too close but close enough, I sent a text to my sleeping daughter in the off chance she woke while I was out and worried: Ran out for cream. Back in a few minutes. Love you.

Pulling out of the neighborhood, I notice in the street a cardinal standing there, in the center of the road. It is quite still. Perhaps it is…


“You were wild once here. Don’t let them tame you.” — Isadora Duncan

I was out of half & half this morning so at 6am tried to figure out what would be open. Once I settled on a store that wasn’t too close, but close enough, I sent a text to my sleeping daughter in the off chance she woke while I was out and worried: Ran out for cream. Back in a few minutes. Love you.

Convenience and its impact on others

Leaving the neighborhood, a cardinal was standing in the center of the road and quite still. Perhaps it was pecking gravel or some crumb it had found there.

Image source: Wiki Commons

It didn’t seem to notice my car and…


On “immoral and unethical” corporate behaviors

Just before Christmas of 2017, we heard that Apple is in some hot water in the form of two class action lawsuits for admitting to intentionally slowing down old phones.

Business Insider is reporting on this story and of the latest suit, involving five customers from Illinois, Ohio, North Carolina, and Indiana, quotes The Chicago Sun-Times:

“They describe Apple’s practice as ‘deceptive, immoral, and unethical’ and say the company engineered iOS updates to “purposefully slow down or ‘throttle down’ the performance speeds” of the iPhone 5, iPhone 6, and iPhone 7, the report says.”

Melissa Hassard

Writer, editor, mom, activist, poet. Wears a mask. melissahassard.com

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