PERSONAL BAGGAGE
A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

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Introduction

PART I: Summer

" Summer sunlight sent a golden glow through the outstretched wings of a hawk floating on currents of air above Dixiana, Mississippi on an afternoon in the year 1991 ... " - read more
" Awakened by soft music from her Bose clock/radio, Penny shut off the alarm and dressed quietly to avoid disturbing Johnny, who slept in another bedroom. ... " - read more
" In a fraction of a second, Penny passed from a dream world surrounded by blazing fire to wide-awake, gasping at air that seemed stiff with smoke. ... " - read more
" Penny leaned against the desk as she washed down her last bite of peanut butter cracker with orange juice. “It feels good to rest a minute. ... " - read more
" Finding Mr. Harris’s bed stripped was no surprise when Penny entered Dixiana’s CCU on Sunday morning. Dr. Ghent had told the Harris family a week ago that ... " - read more
" Penny rubbed her eyes and stretched out beneath the covers. Outside her window, the sun was already high in the sky. She remembered yesterday’s run-in with ... ... " - read more
" After a drought so severe that no amount of watering could revive Penny’s impatiens, rain splashed on the pavement like tiny people dancing in the street ... " - read more
" On Sunday morning, the air carried the scent of decaying marsh as Penny and David settled their parents in Faye’s Volvo for the drive to the airport. Faye navigated ... " - read more

PART II: Autumn

" More than half of the year had passed; days were growing shorter and hurrying by. Acorns littered the concrete and spun like ball bearings when Penny stepped across them ... " - read more
" Penny sat behind one of many computers connected to a teaching module in a newly decorated basement classroom as Ruth Robertson, Clinical Director and ... " - read more
" Set against a background of rain-rinsed pine and live oak, Dixiana appeared fresh and clean as Penny drove across town to the hospital early Saturday morning ... " - read more
" As quickly as they had come to help, members of the code team returned to their own departments and Penny was left with Dr. Scales. She stood at the ... " - read more
" Jacksonville’s Oncology Unit was a beehive of activity Tuesday evening as Penny slid into a chair in the staff room. “We must be full!” Barb munched a nacho and ... " - read more
" After three night shifts that made moving her parents out of Westview seem like a walk in the park, Penny’s trip from the hospital to the Jacksonville airport through ... " - read more

PART III: Winter

" Penny was at home in Dixiana. She had been back from Roanoke approximately twenty-four hours, barely enough time to unpack and catch her breath, but ... " - read more
" Depleted by her trip to Roanoke, the revelation of Maureen’s prognosis, and two busy twelve-hour night shifts, Penny had considered calling in sick to the ... " - read more
" Penny shifted onto her back, stretched, and struggled to focus her eyes on the illuminated numbers on her Bose. It was ten minutes before the alarm would sound on ... " - read more
" Chocolate! Penny inhaled the aroma. Before each shift she willed herself to resist temptation, but the goodies called her name and the longer she looked at them ... " - read more
" “Complimentary Reindeer Exams” proclaimed the sign in front of the veterinarian’s office as Penny set out for Jacksonville Oncology on Christmas Eve. Given her choice ... " - read more
" The grim month of February stretched on without horizon. Like sagging skin, Penny’s bedroom drapes hung in beige wrinkles above her matted-brown carpet. The house ... " - read more
" Tuesday evening on her way to Jacksonville, Penny steered around potholes and rehashed her meeting with Agnes Gwen that morning. She had submitted her ... " - read more

PART IV: Spring

" In the late afternoon, the Pewitts locked their house and loaded suitcases into the trunk of Johnny’s blue Mercury. He adjusted the rearview mirror and turned to Penny, sitting ... " - read more
" Six blocks from the old mansion, Johnny drove onto a new four-lane bridge and they crossed the Tombigbee River. “Look.” Penny pointed to a small restaurant on the bank. ... " - read more
" Sunday night as she unpacked their suitcases, Penny separated clean clothing from a pile to be washed. She hung a pair of slacks in Johnny’s closet and opened his ... " - read more
" As the temperature teetered between bitter and balmy in March, Dixiana welcomed the arrival of tourist season. Azalea blossoms burst open as if they had been waiting for an ... " - read more
" On Thursday morning her fatigue forgotten in the anticipation of reading Flossie Mae’s news, Penny hurried into the house. Scanning the kitchen for newspapers, she ... " - read more
" Penny and Carina rode the elevator down to First and moved through the hallway in silence, each immersed in her own thoughts. When they entered the conference room, two ... " - read more
" Light crept around the blinds in Penny’s bedroom and pulled her out of a dark dream: she had been groping for a wall switch, her terror increasing as the search ... " - read more
Reviews

"Healthcare can be murder. "Personal Baggage" is a novel from Margaret McMillon discussing the current issues surrounding the modern healthcare..."

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