A good friend phoned from his annual spiritual retreat to Florida the other day just to say hello and hear a friendly voice. For a solid month he does nothing more than fast, read books and walk the beach, losing weight and gaining perspective - virtually all in silence.
Owing to a pitiful track record on the matter, I gave up making New Year resolutions years ago.
Barely 24 hours into the new year, as a colleague and I strolled out to get the year's first cup of coffee the other morning, we bumped into town work crews removing trees and hauling down the Christmas greenery from West Broad Street's light poles.
Someone over pie and eggnog the other night asked me about Aunt Emma. They remembered me writing briefly about her some years back.
Several years ago, my wife and her mom took off on a family research trip to central Ohio, hoping to find out more about Irish ancestors who migrated west in the 19th century. Theirs was a family of schoolteachers, and their research in courthouses and libraries around Findlay, Ohio, proved bountiful. They were able to connect names and faces to real people they'd only known only from family stories and scrapbooks.
Reprinted from the December issue of PineStraw magazine.
And so the waiting continues, or maybe it’s just beginning. We’re waiting for the old year to run out — or down — like a dear old mantel clock whose springs simply need winding.
It was a slow Monday, my first day back in the office after Thanksgiving. I was nursing a doozy of a hangover from too much turkey and pumpkin pie, trying to decide between writing a column or taking a nap.
Reading before dawn and eating my wife’s homemade pies are two of life’s finest pleasures, and Thanksgiving is the one day I fully indulge myself.
Reprinted from the November issue of PineStraw magazine
They came out of the darkness the other night devouring everything in their path.
Long ago and far away, the arrival of November used to really fire up the sports fan in me.
The result has been a love affair — and spiritual and cultural nexus — between the Mourne District and the Sandhills that grows exponentially with every passing year.
They were the last voices I heard in the fog that night —the ones that will always be with me wherever we live and roam.
He's my oldest friend and might be the closest thing I know to a Renaissance man: an expert fly-fisherman and serious outdoorsman, a crack businessman, a devoted husband and father, a student of history and philosophy, serious oenophile, respectable golfer, skilled guitarist, even a beloved Sunday School teacher.