Review:: Rise by Cara Brookins

After escaping an abusive marriage, Cara Brookins had four children to provide for and no one to turn to but herself. In desperate need of a home but without the means to buy one, she did something incredible in Rise. Equipped only with YouTube instructional videos, a small bank loan, a mile-wide stubborn streak, Cara…

Sue Simkiss: Survivor

Originally published at The Western Carolina Journalist. One in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society’s data from 2013. My mother, Sue Simkiss at age 56 is now the 1 in 8.

Saying Goodbye to Darla

This past week has been a rough one in my family and friend group, as we had to say goodbye to one of our beloved mothers. Darla Dolton is the mother of my best friend, Kristi, whom I have known since she and I were five years old. None of us expected to be losing…

The Birth of the Bald Eagle

For the last week, I have been off the grid in the picturesque mountains of North Carolina, in the Morganton area, for anyone familiar with North Carolina. Morganton is about two hours from my usual stomping grounds in Cullowhee, but equally as beautiful. I was there with a good chunk of my mom’s family, and…