The County Fair

Across the country county fairs celebrate the bounty of summer while anticipating the turning of the season. Giant pumpkins and wilting vegetables fill the Harvest Hall. Baked goods slowly lose shape and change color as the fair days progress. Often school has just begun, bringing busloads of youngsters with teachers …

An Uncivil War

Since I sold my property this summer my personal mail is being sent to the main post office in Santa Cruz. I have been using a post office box for several years for my business mail–keeping a Santa Cruz mailing address is a marketing technique to enhance searchability on the …

Hey Cuz

Hang on. This is going to get complicated. Sometime last year I received an email, one of many over time, from Ancestry. I’m religious about deleting unwanted messages and my go-to for Ancestry is to move their correspondence straight to the trash unless I’m currently paying for a subscription (I …

Love in the Time of Addiction

“Enabling is fixing problems for others and doing so in a way that interferes with growth and responsibility.” Jeffrey Bernstein I am the embodiment of this definition. It’s a painful and repetitive admission, and essentially worthless unless I stop doing it. I claim to want to love without condition–and what …

Crossing the Border

After stopping at the Grand Canyon and filling up my view with the glory of that place, I continued on my way. I stopped just across the border in Needles, California where the 110 degree heat seemed just about right for the sad looking houses and tired fast food signs …

A Return To My Native Land

I moved to Southern Illinois in the summer between seventh and eighth grade. Our family had done a steady slide downstate from the time I was born in Chicago: Chicago. Clinton. Decatur. And then Carbondale. Every three years and always because my father had changed jobs. We were hostages, we …

The Loneliest Road

I drove away from my daughter’s house, feeling a bit unsettled, but with relative certainty that I had not forgotten anything essential. About 30 minutes into the drive I got a phone call from Megan. “Bye!” she said. “What?” “You told me to wait inside and you’d be right back …

An Honest Attempt

I want this conversation to be honest. I’m a big fan of honesty and I’ve prided myself on “rendering to Caesar” and teaching my children the importance of being truthful and straightforward. But honesty is hard, and sometimes cruel and often hurtful to the ones we love. We have to …