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Chris Fabry
Married to Andrea since 1982. We have 9 children together and none apart. Our dog's name is Tebow.
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Where We Are Now

After finding and remediating mold twice in our Colorado home, we abandoned ship in October 2008. Because of the high levels of exposure, our entire family was affected. After months of seeing different specialists for all of the problems, we came to Arizona to begin comprehensive treatment to rid our bodies of the toxic buildup. In August 2009 we moved into a larger home, four bedrooms, south of Tucson, north of Mexico. I am doing my daily radio program/ writing from that location. Thanks for praying for us. We really feel it.

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Saturday, September 7, 2013
“Here’s your list of vocabulary words,” the teacher said.

The class groaned. But there was one kid in the room who could hardly contain his excitement. One kid who looked forward to this exercise in class almost as much as recess.

“Copy the words and then I want you to use them in a paragraph.”

The kid was me. And now I squirmed. I couldn’t wait to use the words in sentences. I was like a kid in a word-candy store.

“And Chris, don’t use them all in one sentence.”

Rats. She was on to me. I used most of the words in the first two sentences because a lot of them were throw-aways. Not as interesting. Then, I would use the rest to complete a story, some kind of rambling, child-induced, Swiss-Family-Robinson-knock-off of a paragraph that left me in stitches.

I did well at spelling because I could see the words. There was something inside that put them together. My friends had other abilities. Drawing. Math. Paste-eating. (I tried but 1967 was a bad year for paste and it turned me against Elmer’s.)

When I made it to high school and took typing, Ted Bias and I sat together, which was a big mistake for Ted because we laughed our way through asdf jkl;. The lazy brown dog jumps over whatever it wants to. When the teacher told us, “Type whatever you want to,” Ted and I looked at each other and the fingers flew. Monty Python quotes. Limmericks. Rhymes.

When she looked at our papers she never gave us the opportunity to write whatever we wanted again. She deemed it, “silly.”

When I was in Junior High, a teacher looked at some of my poems and stories and scowled. “Who are you trying to be, Dr. Seuss?”

Her words were an IED to my heart. She didn’t mean to shoot me down, but sometimes it doesn’t matter what you mean. What you say is enough.

So I learned punctuation and grammar. I wrote the inverted pyramid. Journalism. Structure and details and facts and getting it right. One spelling error was a letter grade.

Then, somewhere in my late 20s or 30s, something clicked. I looked at a blank page and knew something was missing. Not just words: my words. The words I’d stored up for years, the ones hanging around back there in fourth grade that I’d had so much fun writing.

Today I give you a new word. It’s a name. Treha. She’s part of a story I wrote about a girl yearning and longing to make sense of life. She has a gift. She has a story. It’s built by words just hanging around not doing anything until they met the empty pages.

I’ve tried not to use them all in one sentence.