I am a simple person with a complicated psyche.

Image supplied by author (Pictured: wife-Deanna; son-Nicholas; daughter-Audrey; me)

I grew up in a middle-class, conservative, Christian home in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina.

My negative memories from childhood encompass:
…the loneliness that sometimes accompanies being an only child
…sexual abuse on two different occasions
…being bullied in elementary and middle school

It was through these experiences that I learned I could escape through comic books, action figures (not dolls), and television.

My positive memories from childhood include:
…growing up in a loving home
…having a very supportive mother and father
…excelling in Little League Baseball
…excelling in school

Any time he could, my father…


The view from the other side can help you too.

Image supplied by author (Pictured: me with my glasses adjusted so I could see the best, and I also need a shave)

The idea of the midlife crisis did not begin until 1957 when Canadian, Elliott Jaques, read one of his papers to the British Psycho-Analytical Society. It declared that the catalyst for this event was when people came to grips with their mortality and that their lives were half over.

This can also lead to feelings of depression and regret. A survey conducted in the U.S. found approximately 26% of the participants admitted to having a midlife crisis. Of those respondents, 25% state their crisis was brought on by a major life event, rather than their age.

This was the case…


Have you ever had an innocent crush on one of your relatives?

Young shirtless boy and older girl hanging up closes on an outside close line.
Young shirtless boy and older girl hanging up closes on an outside close line.
Photo by Wesley Carvalho from Pexels

Jerry Lee Lewis and his first wife were third cousins. There have been many jokes and accusations about people from the Southern United States and their relationships with their cousins. Only a small fraction of that may be warranted.

When I was a kid, there were a few times that my cousins from Boston would come down to North Carolina and spend the summer with our extended family. Usually, it was just Melissa and David (not their real names).

One summer their older sister, Kristen (not her real name either), came with them. Melissa and David were close to my…


a 7-stanza haiku about warmth (with an emoji prompt)

An older gentleman in glasses with scarf, coat, and stocking cap, outside looking up into the sky.
An older gentleman in glasses with scarf, coat, and stocking cap, outside looking up into the sky.
Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

This post is in response to an emoji prompt by Lucy Dan 蛋小姐 (she/her/她), from this article!

The below haiku is based on a true story.

🥶 🤡👹⚡🎉🙀💜

An old heart patient
Has thin blood and drinks iced drinks
Complains that he’s cold

He wears lots of clothes
Long sleeves even in summer
People laugh at him

He complains a lot
Others get annoyed with him
He’s a cold ogre

The frustrations rise
No one understands his plight
He wants to be warm

He gets by himself
Turns heat on in the guest room
He’s warm and happy

Heat makes others sweat
This…


The story of how I fired my yard guy (and my inner critic)

A man on a riding lawn mower, cutting grass between a fence and a driveway.
A man on a riding lawn mower, cutting grass between a fence and a driveway.
Photo by Carnaby Gilany on Unsplash

I fired my yard guy today. It was difficult for me to do. My name is Michael Hollifield, and I’m a people-pleaser. I don’t like for anyone to be upset with me.

When I mess up and people are upset with me, that is difficult for me to deal with, but understandable. When someone is not doing what they told me they would do, and I make a decision and they get upset with that decision, I should not let that bother me.

I communicate with my yard guy through texting. I pay him through PayPal. (I know, that’s so…


My livestock lesson reminder may be good for you too.

Photo by Leon Ephraïm on Unsplash

What do you think goes through a cow’s mind all day? “Dang, I’m hungry. Hey, there’s a nice patch of grass. I want it!” Eats the grass. “You know what? I could eat some more grass right now. That looks good! I want it!”

There are 1000 acres of farmland across the street from my subdivision. I do not own the subdivision, I’m just referring to the one where I live.

As I drove to work each morning (pre-pandemic), I would glance over to see what the cows were up to. No surprise, they were always eating. …


I hope your journey has been as beneficial as mine.

Image supplied by author (Pictured: right-rear stove top burner knob)

Whether or not the pen is mightier than the sword, we can all agree that the pen is pretty mighty. I have had the privilege to work with two different writers throughout my adult life. Stephen King and Danielle Steele were not these two individuals.

The individuals I did work with are great communicators and their writing continues to inspire people today. They played a large part in my wanting to write and have that kind of influence. I have been greatly influenced by great writing. I have also been mediocrely influenced by mediocre writing.

The written word has saved…


OPEN LETTERS

I regret that I did not fully understand your predicament.

Photo by adrianna geo on Unsplash

Dear friends,

If you assisted me as a volunteer in our youth ministry over my 18 years as a full-time youth minister, I owe you an apology. Ministers worth their Epsom salt understands that they can’t grow a thriving ministry alone.

To have one of those types of ministries, I did what ministers all over the world have done at one time or other — expect too much of you! We know you have full-time jobs and most of you have families. You have more responsibilities than just volunteering at church.

Yet, we want you to be involved on Sundays…


Quotes my mother used to teach me about life

Image supplied by author (Pictured: me with my mother and father)

The term helicopter parent was first used in 1969 in a book entitled “Between Parent and Teenager.” I thought it would have been from a research study performed by observing my mother.

Yes, her name was Dorcas. Several of my friends over the years have chuckled when I told them what her name was. If you grew up in a protestant, fundamental church this may have been one of the names of an older adult women’s Sunday school class.

I have heard other people use that name as a “throw-away phrase” to insult someone who is being prudish, “Don’t be…

Michael Hollifield

Blogger, speaker, passionate about life and learning, and re-learning, and re-learning.

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