Lee Woodruff


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Blog Life

Fearless to Shameless

“Leash your dog!”  The command bellowed across the golf course where a willowy man in a puff jacket brought a giant black beast of a dog to heel.  Disoriented, my head snapped up as our two little dogs ran excitedly forward.  The man struck a baronial pose in the distance.  His canine’s head was almost chest level. “Do you hear me?”  The frigid January  ...

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Blog Family Friends Life

The Death of Civility

It was the end of an “embrace the suck” kind of day. I blew a gasket at our house painter, who had worked my last nerve after four weeks, breaking a window, destroying part of the lawn and splattering more paint on the glass and deck than to the exterior of the house. I’d heard a million excuses, but not one “I’m sorry.” Riding the train into New York  ...

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Blog Family Life

Perpetually Skeptic

I look in the hand-held mirror and am dismayed to observe that one brow is now permanently raised, like a female version of Star Trek’s Spock. OK, maybe not quite that pronounced, but definitely higher. Noticeably higher. A line of tiny stitches sits just above the eyebrow and my eyelid is drawn up too, like a roman shade. I look half wide-eyed, my face  ...

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Blog Life

Into the Blues

During the winter months, when the thermometer hovers below “chilly” and the sky turns metallic, I have to dig a little deeper for my joy.   This stretch of calendar feels trip-wired for small bombs of worry and valleys of melancholy.   Going about my day, the blues sift around in the background, like a mist or vapor.  But at 3:30 AM,  they puff up into  ...

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Family Life Veterans


 “When you become a parent, you might as well just open a vein.”  I’ve long forgotten who said that to me, but as a mother, I immediately understood.  Parenthood abruptly catapults one into the realization of how many ways you can fail at protecting your child from life’s randomness.  Before you, at all times,  ...

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Friends Life Stories


Lung cancer.  That will stop a conversation.  More than any of the frightening medical diagnoses, that one seems extra ominous.  Someone utters the words “lung cancer” and I think of devastating, almost insurmountable odds.   At the age of 32, that’s what Lee Rhodes was told when she learned that her worrisome  ...

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Family Life

Digging in the Dirt

Most young children compete with their siblings for their parent’s affection. My sisters’ and my rivals, however, were my father’s plants.  He adored lush ferns and bright colors, lipstick red summer geraniums and the bold purple of miniature lobelia.  Our lawn was golf-course green and weed-free (and he was not above  ...

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