“Slow down, you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.”

Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash

The first time I was ever inside of a church was on the day of my 21st birthday. Most people celebrate this milestone at a bar with their friends, drinking until they puke. I…


I’m doing my best to keep our heads above water but I’m not a superhero

Photo by Bill Anderson-Blough on Unsplash

The four of us have been self-isolating together for 298 days. After so long, days blur, blend, mesh and take alternative forms, and all we have left to do is argue with each other.

In the beginning, it didn’t feel so hard. We had just emerged from Iowa’s traditional subzero…


A reflection on the damage opioids can do

Photo: Paul Schutzer/the LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

My mother died as an opioid addict at the age of 53. I don’t know when her addiction really began, but I’ve come to realize that she self-medicated to escape. …


Uncertainty should be scary, but it’s been too long and those effects have since worn off

Photo by Teslariu Mihai on Unsplash

The first feature story I picked up as a syndicated freelancer with Gannett was on a man who was retiring after 56 years of employment with the same manufacturer. Making metal milk crates by hand, Gary started working there two weeks before his 18th birthday in 1963.

He was the…


The story of how we lost an ordinary farmer, elected state senator, to the Grand QAnon Party

The family farm, founded in 1846, Dayton Township, Iowa County, Iowa. Photo credited to the author

Across the pond, through the study window, I see an American Flag at half staff rustling in the wind. It’s been at half staff since November 7, 2020, the day the U. S. declared President Biden…


A Medium story about Medium

2015 medium.com logo

Remember when Medium was a social media blogging platform? This logo represents when I started a Medium account. Old school techniques to build a following where word of mouth, clicking on tags and submitting your work to publications. If you enjoyed reading a piece, you’d tap the little green heart…


Society

Most of us just want to get through each day

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Politics

Using the same type of evaluation when assessing an immediate threat to a community, I’ve compiled a list

Photo by Greg Bulla on Unsplash

If you haven’t heard, the Iowa GOP wants you to believe that illegal immigrants are crossing the border with backpacks full of drugs and unloading them in Iowa. This misinformation has spread like the plague.

I do not know why someone would risk their life to get to the border…


Politics

And how long are we going to sit around and wait for problems to resolve themselves?

Photo by Florian Schmetz on Unsplash

I’m a member of a local activism organization. The other members think I’m “extreme.” I live in rural Iowa. There’s roughly two dozen of us in a group made up of mostly farmers, senior citizens and less than a handful of younger folks.

After our state senator dodged us, I…


If a year of the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we can’t trust Americans

Screenshot from a video I recorded while covering the 2020 Presidential Election. Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, addresses residents in Iowa County, Iowa. Jan. 27, 2020. Credited to author

When Democrats announced former Vice President Joe Biden as the party presidential nominee in August 2020, I thought, ‘I have 90 days to convince myself why I like Biden.’

I didn’t neccessarily dislike him but he wasn’t my first choice.

A historic 28 Democratic candidates tossed their name into the…

Erika Anne

I blog to stay sane.

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