I must have done something good.

Photo by Museums Victoria on Unsplash

My daughter is 36. I had her when I was 28. Her father and I had already been married for seven years and our families were wondering why we were taking so long to produce a child.

I never thought I would have a kid. This will sound really incredibly stupid but, although I’m an atheist, to please my devoutly Catholic mother I got married in “The Church” and not only subjected my husband to pre-Cana classes, I agreed to raise any offspring in the church. I sat and promised my mother’s favorite priest…


The story of a very special pair of jeans.

Photo by Ryan Moreno on Unsplash

When I was sixteen

I had blue jeans

With plenty of magic

To fend off panic.

If I was broke and needy

The pants gave to me, freely.

I’d reach inside the back patch pocket

and out came cash like my pocket was a wallet.

I had independence,

But I needed some assistance.

I trusted in my pants

as they delivered green like grants.

Twenty bucks could solve a problem;

Keep me from being destitute and glum,

Raise my status with every friend.

Leftovers — I could offer to lend.

My…


Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Just as I was to start my junior year of high school my father accepted a job transfer and my family moved from Connecticut to New Orleans, Louisiana. I was experienced with being the new girl as this was my eighth new school since kindergarten.

One of my coping mechanisms when attending a new school was to give myself a few weeks to acclimate and then I would settle into whatever group of kids I fit in with. After a short period of time allowing myself to get the lay of the land at my new school, I started to…


Trigger warning: This story contains a description of an imagined sexual assault.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Fletcher Carlson reviewed the landscape in front of him before making his move. The sidewalk pavement was slick and shiny from a mid-morning downpour, like someone poured clear liquid resin on its surface and it cured hard and impenetrable. Bottle caps, bits of twigs and gravel and a few cracked plastic straws were imbedded in the parking lot asphalt, probably from some hot day when the tar softened.

Fletcher was wearing athletic shoes. He’d obscured the tread with duct tape and spray sealant, the kind they sold on…


Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash

Of all the things that can go wrong when planning a wedding, what happened in Key West last year, when we were all still trying to figure out the pandemic, almost had me rethinking my career choice.

Junie Anson, my second-weekend-in-June bride, was marrying one of Hattiesburg, Mississippi’s most prominent real estate developers. The Anson/Clooney was a destination wedding and the theme was “ Magic on the Beach”.

Junie wanted Mason Jars for everything: lighting, place markers, table centerpieces and the favors. Since the ceremony was being held on the beach, she wanted the smallest size Mason Jars for the…


Photo of THE toast rack by author

It’s strange how a writing prompt can ring a bell. One word. Toast. And my mind spirals, as if inside of a whirlpool, until it finds the resting place that exists in memories of my mother and my grandmother.

My mother died in 2012 and it freed me. I don’t want to be too dramatic or overstate anything but my mother was viewed by the world as being a sweet and loving person but she hid a negative, critical streak. If a person didn’t keep themselves tightly wrapped like she did, she didn’t like it. …


Hazel preferred the fetal position while sleeping. The experience was better if she had her blue and yellow blanket tucked between her knees and if Mamie, her Mother, forgot to put Granny Auntie’s Bitter Apple spray on her thumb. The vile tasting spray was made to keep dogs from chewing at itchy spots but Mamie Darnell didn’t worry for a second that the label said:

DO NOT INGEST OR ALLOW PROLONGED CONTACT WITH HUMAN SKIN.

Mamie would be damned if she was going to pay for braces for Hazel. …


photo collection of the author

Chuck Swanson always wears a tie.

He ain’t no ordinary guy!

He’d swing all day in place of work,

An unpaid, child-like sort of jerk.

You’d think he’s hiding something,

But his shades are just a fun thing.

They make a groovy fashion statement

When he hits the playground’s asphalt pavement.

The executives in charge of hiring

Exhibiting their faulty wiring,

They think this swinger holds a secret.

His secret? He’s a big dick.

While his family goes hungry

His work ethic stays funky.

No 9 to 5 for this guy!

Put behind a desk — he’d die.

“I don’t…


Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The monster sat, legs ready to spring to action if need be, hidden behind two moss covered rocks. Tall blackberry canes formed a natural fence of briars all around. The two rocks provided a framework for the view.

Stanton Hildebrand dipped his brush, loading the Sable hair with paint from a small tube of lamp black to make his signature.

S. HILDEBRAND, neat and legible. Stanton always wondered about painters who signed their work in an unreadable fashion. …

Judy McLain

Shit Creek survivor. Storyteller. Feminist liberal. Southern without the accent. Chihuahuaist.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store