Expecto Patronum

Indigenous cultures occasionally focus on spirit animals who help guide and direct them during times of trouble. It’s not just the native cultures, but modern day fiction too. In J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World of Magic, Harry Potter’s Patronus charm takes the shape of a stag, just like his father. Wizards use the spell as protection in …

Continue reading Expecto Patronum

Fighting my stutter

The teacher stood over me like an angry giant. Looking back now I’m guessing that he couldn’t have been more 5’8 or 5’9 tall and probably had just graduated from college, but to me the substitute teacher held a position of authority, looked pleased to catch his prey out of the classroom, and like he …

Continue reading Fighting my stutter

Missing a few family members

When I was a young kid, I stumbled across the black-and-white 1947 movie, Miracle on 34th Street, starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and a young Natalie Wood. My parents weren't home and instead of watching football late on a Sunday afternoon, I started watching the movie. I fell in love with the plot right away, …

Continue reading Missing a few family members

Leaving the smartphone at home

I reached for my phone six times on my 40-minute drive to work. I picked up my jacket thinking it was in a pocket and then quickly put it back down, reminding myself each time that I would have to live without my phone for the day. Instead of listening to my favorite music on …

Continue reading Leaving the smartphone at home

A trip to my happy place

The news has been depressing: Impeachment Hearings for President Trump, California wildfires, and a school shooting seemingly every few weeks to name a few. You try to keep your head up, keep positive thoughts, and go about your own business, but it can be challenging. To help in that area, I like to find my …

Continue reading A trip to my happy place

Shutting down Mom & Dad’s taxi service

I looked up from my phone to look out the car window. Nothing. I went back to scrolling through social media and chatting absentmindedly with my wife about her day. We sat in the dark in our car waiting for our son to finish up from his school’s marching band practice. A few minutes later, …

Continue reading Shutting down Mom & Dad’s taxi service

Snoopy and Teddy: The best of friends

In a long running gag from the comic strip Peanuts, Lucy tells Charlie Brown that she’ll hold a football for him to kick. Charlie Brown refuses to kick it at first, not trusting Lucy, not wanting to get burned again. The two go back and forth until she convinces him to trust her. Charlie Brown …

Continue reading Snoopy and Teddy: The best of friends

Too many books, too little time

The young girl’s eyes bulged out of their sockets looking all around the store. Her head was on swivel looking right, then left, and then back again.  She let out a huge smile. She couldn’t believe her good fortune. When she saw that the bookstore had a second floor, her smile stretched even further and …

Continue reading Too many books, too little time

Getting the doctor’s diagnosis: Live like you were dying

The dentist came into the room with a copy of my dental x-ray in his hand. He gave me a big smile, that actually made me more nervous than calm, and went out of his way to promote the benefits of the practice’s 360-degree panoramic x-ray machine. He explained how the x-ray shows all the …

Continue reading Getting the doctor’s diagnosis: Live like you were dying