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Following the Yellow Brick Road Through America’s Broken Health Care System

The oncology department would become as familiar to us as our hair salon or dentist office, but it was strange and otherworldly at first. Everyone was so kind, and the staff and patients made it a calm and serene environment. That's important to the patients who recline in their chairs, looking at phones or books or magazines, talking quietly to their caregivers, dozing, just chilling as the poison pumps into their systems. But, it's our yellow brick road out of Cancer Land, and we embrace it, for the time being anyway.

Photography of Krystalenia Quade

Photo taken from North Fork Highway in Moorefield, WV. Photo taken from...

Gardening Advice From My Gramma, Bula Kiser

My grandmother always had the prettiest garden. She grew flowers while my Granddaddy took care of all the vegetables. Her blue and white Victorian house on Florida Street glowed with pink geraniums, pink and white petunias, and a glory of other blooms in her signature colors. Around the side and back...

The Mountains are Calling, and I Must Go!

Mountains conjure scenic images from Appalachia to Colorado, Switzerland, Tibet, and beyond.  Typically, mountains symbolize permanence and immovability and can even represent spirituality and God.  Monks build monasteries in picturesque mountains which are decidedly remote...

A Different Kind of Semicolon Moment

A new adventure in the dead of winter; a chance to create in the shadow of death; a beginning from an ending – I call this a semicolon moment, a moment when life could...


Photo taken on Cold Stream road, Hampshire Co., WV in September.

Flowers and Children

Flowers are complex creatures, aren’t they?  Aesthetically amazing, they’re not just pretty, but beholden with such perfumed power.   Not just a decoration, but dexterous – adaptable, functional, resourceful, multifaceted.   For instance, in the 1600’s, tulip bulbs...


I have become one who dwells in silence, a land yearned for, yet previously little known, in a busy work day world of job, children and family.  I live in a world full of noise...