Obviously it's been a rough week in the U.S. I've spent the last couple of days writing something about all of it (and stewing over what to say). I'll share that in the next day or two. I'm positive it won't be perfect. I've grappled with what to say. I feel horrified about the violence and injustice black people in my country and community have had to endure. I have felt like it would be worse for me to say nothing than to drop some imperfect words. I may be wrong about that.

I hope you are all staying safe, in all of your corners of the world. I love you.

It's been a strange year, and not really in the ways we usually prefer. But we'll be carrying on in Strangerville, where stories matter, because they make us laugh, grow, understand, and connect. I can never thank you all enough for helping me understand and appreciate that through your support and interaction on this incredibly stupid website hosted by an extremely outdated platform for the past 12 years.

When I write here or produce stories from you I like to imagine we've all gathered around a little fire in a small group of trees, off in some corner of a quiet forest somewhere. The burning wood crackles. We're sipping hot cocoa, or whatever you prefer. We're huddled close together in warm blankets. Someone is holding a flashlight and pulling us in with their account of something funny or sad or whatever exists between or around those two feelings. We never want the story to end because that space—that atmosphere that the sometimes-exaggerated but always meaningful details create—is home for us. A place where we are at peace together because we are together.

I think that makes me a romantic. And probably a little cheesy. For whatever reason that image of all of us, from every place and perspective, gathered in that way feels comforting to me today.

Please enjoy another one of those stories on this week's Strangerville.

This time in Strangerville, Meg and Eli were very patriotic in elementary school. And a woman tells the story of navigating the foster care system during a pandemic.


Foster, by Joy (music by by Gillicuddy)

~It Just Gets Stranger