Keeping track of life’s unwritten rules

In Major League Baseball, when you hit a homerun, you keep your head down and take your base. No showboating. No “look at me, look how special I am” bat flips. No showing up the pitcher or the other team or you’re likely to get a 95-mph fastball aimed at your ear the next time …

Continue reading Keeping track of life’s unwritten rules

Who do you admire?

Every year since 1948, Gallup, the polling company, has asked Americans to name the man and woman that they admire the most. Surprisingly, I didn't show up anywhere on the most recent list! I'm nowhere to be found. Instead, former President Barack Obama and current President Donald Trump tied last year as the most admired …

Continue reading Who do you admire?

Take me home country roads

I can sense it coming. The feeling starts out like a distant ache. I’ll push it back to the back of my mind in the hopes that it will go away. My attempt to keep my focus to “the here and now” will work for a while, but the feeling will soon come back. This …

Continue reading Take me home country roads

Sticking up for myself

I stormed up to my bigger and stronger teammate and told him that he may have had an out-of-this-world batting swing and ranked as one of the best players on our baseball team, but he should stop bullying everyone. The rest of us didn’t appreciate his behavior. My teammates, seeing my bravery and courage, of …

Continue reading Sticking up for myself

Will you be my Valentine?

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, one of my coworkers plans to surprise his girlfriend by taking her to an expensive French restaurant that she has been dying to visit for the past year. He made the reservations on the sly a few months ago and he’s kept it top secret. The woman sitting next to me …

Continue reading Will you be my Valentine?

Moving past new-parent jitters

My wife rubbed the edge of her index fingertip along the top edge and leaned over to peek inside. She looked like she was out on a car lot comparing new cars—blue trim on this one, black on that one. Instead of cars, though, we were walking aimlessly through a local store comparing baby cribs. …

Continue reading Moving past new-parent jitters

Signs, sign, everywhere a sign

One sign gave an ominous warning, “Do not cross. Thank you.” Another advertised a national weight loss program. Still another promoted a new video streaming service. Finally two more announced a train crossing and “Road Work Ahead.” I felt like the Aerosmith song was playing itself out in front of me: “Sign, sign, everywhere a …

Continue reading Signs, sign, everywhere a sign

And a child shall lead them

My daughter loves hanging out with her friends. She also enjoys reading or relaxing with our dog Nittany. Likewise, my oldest son loves to lift weights and watch action movies. Over the past twelve months, I’ve watched as both have given up things they love and stepped out of their comfort zones to tackle new …

Continue reading And a child shall lead them

Mean girls

The young woman’s eyes gave away her feelings. Two other college-age women approached her and set up shop on the elliptical trainer right next to her. They acknowledged each other like they knew other and the two women said something that I couldn’t hear. The woman who had been working out smiled, but her eyes …

Continue reading Mean girls

The Ice Queen

The woman stood in the middle of the ice rink, one toe up on the edge of the skate, and watched over the rink like a queen inspecting her staff or a hardened general watching over a battlefield. The woman wore a matching blue jacket and pants and a white headband that kept her hair …

Continue reading The Ice Queen