Becky McGregor

Becky McGregor Headshot

In response to the prompt: There I said it…what was your first spoken word?

“Hi” was my first word. I delighted everyone by greeting them with, “Hi.” I said it to family, friends, and every stranger I saw. Then came the day when I was nine months old, sitting in a cart in the checkout line at Piggly Wiggly. I looked at the women behind me and loudly said, “Hi.”

The women looked around and said, “Who said that?”

I continued to say, “Hi,” waiting for a hi back. The women soon became mad, claiming the store or my mom was playing a trick on her. She claimed that no child that small talked. It took a while to convince her I was actually talking.

She then said, “Hi” back and I shut up.

My mom has told many people this story, including me, multiple times. I love telling this story because it is one of the few times I was ever called small.

Yet to this day, I still enjoy greeting new people with a smile and a “Hi.”

Patricia Balinski

Patricia Balinski 1st TuesdayIn response to the prompt: In this I believe…

The finger food menu passes from hand-to-hand. I always try to taste a new food, a savoring of a favorite yet revamped into a new version.  It sounds normal—a vegetable, dipped in egg and seasoned bread crumbs, then fried.  It came in a plastic, paper-lined basket. I select the largest golden fried slice and bite into it. Its outer skin resists my teeth but offers the elixir of its center. The juice, its life blood, trickles down my throat. My face scrunches. My eyes water. I gasp for breath upon tasting my first “fried pickle.”

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