That Which Connects Us All

That Which Connects Us All

Life & Community
By Diana Creel Elarde There is so much space and distance in 40 years apart, and yet I knew as soon as I heard the word ‘hospice’ that there was only one place in the world I needed to be. Throwing my suitcase in the back of the small SUV, I quickly made the departure from the Omaha airport toward Lincoln, hoping to make it in time. Time! It takes on an entirely different connotation when needing to connect for the last time. When I finally arrive, we hug as we assess each other. Then we truly hug. I hold my cousin’s weakened body as memories of childhood sleepovers, birthday celebrations, and family holidays come flooding through. What tied us then, ties us now. We sit, we share, holding hands…
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Malbec at Sunset

Life & Community, Lifestyle
by Diana Elarde It is fairly desolate now without cars coming and going alongside me. My chances of catching a ride on a Sunday morning are not too high. Not until the local churches release their patrons in time for the traditional family dinner. If I am lucky, a family will come along, pick me up, and invite me to their home for dinner. This experience is one of the most humbling for me. I could never imagine my own family bringing home a stranger. But village life in Argentina is different. Always it is my hope, whatever family picks me up, that they will share my passion for Malbec, the deeply intense red wine from grapes grown at the foot of the Andes. I have diary of them all,…
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Desert Visit

Lifestyle, Stories, Uncategorized
It’s quiet where I live now. I wake around 4:00 am, because it seems that is what I do now. Lying under a mound of blankets, I usually manage to kick one foot free to cool from the heat in the bed. The windows that surround the bed are open, inviting what little air flow there is to come in. I lay quiet, listening for nothing in particular, but listening nevertheless. The desert doesn’t speak much at night. There are those exceptions when, in the distance, a coyote howl can be heard. Some nights, one lonely coyote call rings out. Occasionally, others reply back. Their howls start out high and piercing, fading away as quickly as they begin. Sometimes their cries are disturbing. Perhaps they stir within me an ancestral…
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Leftover Opportunity

Stories
By Diana Creel Elarde I sit up at the counter at the retro diner, slowly munching the last french fry. The cook, probably the owner, keeps staring out the window behind me. Each time, his lips are pressed together and his head shakes. It doesn’t take much to figure out something out there is annoying him. I don’t need to look out the window to know what his problem is; I’ve seen that expression before. In fact, even though he doesn’t recognize me now, I used to be part of his problem. His restaurant sits not far from the shelter, right by the bus stop, among a series of small mom-and-pop restaurants on the street. This area is an ideal spot to hang around for those who need to scrounge…
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PERSPECTIVE

PERSPECTIVE

Arts & Culture, Life & Community, Stories
By Diana Creel Elarde I cross the campus in the silence of the early morning. Even if the cars on the avenues around here tried to make noise, their tires remain quiet as they roll over the fresh layers of snow. The silence has caught my attention. In a city of cars, buses and light rail, there always seems to be the air of noise. Usually their noises float past my thoughts; they integrate themselves into my mind, a constant background to my city day. Today the silence of it all captures my direct attention, making each step I take sound gigantic in nature. Perhaps they are gigantic. I never dreamed I would be on a campus, at least not officially as a student. Yet here I am; a world…
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The Spirit of the Farolitos

Life & Community, Stories
I have to laugh as I pour the sand into the empty lunch bags. How can it be that from such simple supplies - lunch bags, sand and a small candle – have come my favorite holiday tradition? Once the right amount of sand is in each bag, I clear out a spot to seat the candle. It took a while to find the right candles. Ones that would burn long enough to last until the required midnight hour, yet not so big as to set the bags aflame and destroy the holiday effect of the flickering light in the brown paper. The first year we lived in Arizona, wanting to indulge in this old southwest holiday decoration, I positioned them atop the wall that surrounds our house. Their peaceful…
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