Today, I want to hear from you.

“To be alive at all is to have scars.” John Steinbeck

“Scars are tattoos with better stories.” Fear Like Us

Send me your scar story here (or if you’re a subscriber, simply hit reply to this email.) Photos are welcome too (if they're not too gross.) I will publish your writing, along with your name and location, in next week’s blog installment.

I’ll get us started…

Like a carnival for us kids in the 1970s, Market Fair, a grocery store on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis, was a place of wonders: the cash registers’ coin returns—at precisely my eye level—spewed change for no apparent reason, we scored packages of Chiclets when we played the shopping game right, and the promise of amusement (a.k.a. grocery cart) rides dazzled us.

One day in 1974, we kids clambered to board a ride. Mom plugged my two-year-old brother into the baby seat in the front, and four-year-old me crouched in the back with the macaroni and tuna. When Mom’s list pulled her away from us and into the canned soup aisle for “just a second,” my eight-year-old sister entertained us. She was now the operator of the ride, and the cart was a roller coaster, bumping along its course. She spun us in circles. We clapped. She whipped us in dizzying figure eights. We squealed for joy.

But back near the meat department, a steel pipe poised along the floor like a dormant serpent, and that’s where the ride pitched me out.

Soon, I was on my back on a table in Deaconess Hospital’s emergency room, bright lights glaring down at me. A feathery tickle teased a spot on my head near the hairline, but I couldn’t scratch it; my arms were strapped to my sides.

“It itches,” I howled to a nurse. “It itches!”

I won five stitches that day and a scar big enough for show and tell.

Now what about you?


*Miss an installment of the blog? Or want to catch the story from the beginning? Visit

*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.