Brooke Cox

Rat Chips

“I want some rat chips Momma!”

My mom and I both were speechless. We had just walked by a vending machine. In fact, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if Sara wasn’t pointing toward it and calling out, “I want some rat chips.”

“What in the world is she talking about?” Mom asked me.

I shrugged. “I have no idea.”

“I want some rat chips Momma!”


Looking Up

I don’t like to sit still. Never have and probably never will. Why? Because I am restless and I bore easily. This is one reason why I don’t like red lights.

One morning, I was sitting at the red light at the intersection of Emory Rd. and Maynardville Hwy. Being bored, I looked up. Scampering across the power lines above all the traffic was a squirrel.



I got my love of superheroes from an unlikely source: my Papaw E.O.

When I was a small girl, I loved watching “Underdog” with my Papaw. We both would laugh and sing along with Polly Purebred. I still treasure those memories. The article picture is of my papaw and me at his birthday picnic!


In a New Light

Her picture shed a whole new light on things. Literally.

The “her” is my step father’s granddaughter, Christine. She lives in Southern California. Last fall, she came out to our neck of the woods to visit and take in our beautiful East Tennessee.

And that she did.


Guiding Tail Lights

Originally, I was going to use the title “Guiding Lights,” but I thought it sounded too much like one of the daytime dramas. That being said, this article does have some driving drama in it.

My first driving drama happened in my early 20s. I was heading to work at Baptist Hospital. Thankfully it was a Saturday morning, which meant lighter traffic on I-75.



You would think I would have learned by now not to always be in such a hurry. Apparently I haven’t.

A few days before Christmas, I was wrapping presents in the basement. I had retrieved two canisters of chocolate covered raisins to wrap up for my husband Tim. Carrying one in each hand, I ran back down the stairs. Yeah, you read it right. I was running down the stairs. And since I was carrying the presents, I couldn’t hold on to the railing.


Creek Christmas Lights

As a kid, it was one of those times I actually wanted to help.

When I was growing up, my Mamaw Jo always put her Christmas tree up the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It was artificial, so she could do that. Of course, that excited me since I enjoyed decorating it.


In Every Cookie

As soon as it turns November, the craziness starts. I am bombarded with, “When are you going to make your cookies?” Or “Have you started on your cookies yet?”

I have even taken vacation days to make my Christmas cookies. Every year, I make hundreds of them by hand. Hundreds. No exaggeration.

So what is this wonderful cookie? It’s a Ritz cracker/peanut butter sandwich dipped in white chocolate.


Disaster Area

It was the crash that was heard around the world. Well…not exactly. It was the crash that was heard all over Tim’s parent’s house. After the crash, the next sound I heard was Tim’s mother calling out, “Oh no!” I jumped up and ran downstairs. While I knew she wasn’t hurt, I knew something was wrong and it was most likely my fault.

When I reached the kitchen, the first thing I noticed were pieces of a dish spread out across the floor. It had completely shattered. Standing next to the pieces was Tim’s mother.


Too Far Up

The day had finally arrived and I was giddy with excitement. I can still remember standing in the long line outside the Civic Coliseum as we waited to get inside.

It was winter 1977 and my parents had bought tickets to an ice skating show. It was a treat for me since I loved to watch people ice skate. It fascinated me how they performed all those jumps and twirled around on a thin blade as they glided over ice.

Being the klutz that I am, I have never attempted to ice skate. I had and still have no desire to wear a cast for a few weeks.


Dare I do it?

When I was small, the closest I came to a body of water was when we drove across the bridge over Bull Run Creek.
My mother was terrified of water, so I was surprised when one day she agreed to go to the Norris pool with our neighbor. I was 12 years old at that time. To this day, I remember clinging on to the side of the pool with one hand while peering into to the clear water. I wanted to overcome my own fear of the water so I could learn how to swim and join my friends playing in the pool. Who wants to stay on the sidelines and watch the world go by? Not me.


Garage Guest

When Mom and I pulled into my driveway, I knew something strange was happening. My daughter Sara was standing in front of my garage door and she was yelling at something and stomping her feet.

Unfortunately for me, I had already pushed the button to raise the garage door. I was riding with my mom and had the door remote with me.

“You shouldn’t have opened the door! I was trying to keep it from getting into the garage,” Sara yelled as I stepped out of mom’s van.