Down on the farm

When I was a young kid, my mother would occasionally pack up my brothers and I into the family car and cart us off for the hour to two hour drive to visit my grandparents or one of our aunts or uncles, who were Amish. My mother grew up Amish in rural Central Pennsylvania (think …

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A painful experience

My wife looked at me, but said nothing. Her hand, the one without the IV tubes, gripped mine like her life depended on it. The labor pains took their sweet time, but were now coming at a steady pace. We were having our first child and I was doing my best to try to help …

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Worst case scenario

I’m dressed in rags and I look pale and haggard like I haven’t eaten or gotten a good night's sleep in weeks. My wife has left me. My kids have turned their back on me. I’m homeless and wandering aimlessly through town. Of course, I’m playing out this sad scenario in my mind. In reality, …

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The moments in my life that I’ve been at my best as a father

I gulped down the last of my coffee. It was late in the day for me to be drinking coffee, but I had worked a full ten-hour day and still had five hours in the car until I reached my daughter’s campus. We’d probably grab some fast-food and then start our drive back home. My …

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A need for plain talk

I saw the letter and quickly handed it to my wife. I’ve been a writer for much of my professional life, but I’ve noticed something new lately, when it comes to the printed word, I have absolutely no patience for bureaucratic double-talk and jargon. The letter was a simple note from our state Department of …

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Struggling to find the right words

I sit down to write, but nothing comes. I'll see something in the news or on social media that touches me or a politician will say something in this crazy climate that will make my blood boil. I’ll think to myself, how can they be so uneducated or even uncaring, but when I sit down …

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Can you feel the love tonight

The young woman rang up my grocery order. I had the exact number of items to fit the express line, but she still gave me a cold stare like I was a rule breaker. She threw my groceries down the conveyor, paying little attention how they landed. In this COVID-19 environment, I rarely go to …

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