Thank you Mom!

When Mother's Day rolls around each year, I often find myself thinking of my mother, not as a grown women caring for my brothers and me or, even now, loving life as a grandmother, but instead, I find myself thinking of her as a young girl. In fact, I'm ultimately drawn back to a piece …

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Everything’s gonna be alright

The voice on the other end of the call became garbled and faded out. I saw the senior executive's face on the Microsoft Teams call, but I couldn't make out what he said. When he came back on, all I could hear him saying was "what do you think, Brian?" In this crazy COVID-19 world, …

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Staying safe doing nothing

I’m a multitasker. I've never been one to sit completely still. It's not in me: Why do one thing, when you can do two, three or four. For example, in the evening, you'll usually find me working on a blog or possibly paying bills on my laptop, checking out social media on my smartphone, and …

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The best laid plans of mice and men

Folk singer and songwriter John Prine had been planning to play several live shows in Kentucky, Calgary, and at the famed Apollo Theater in New York City in a few weeks in May and June. He had shows booked well into the Fall and even had a couple of events planned for next February. Prine …

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Paying homage to All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

When life hits back, and as we're finding out right now, it can pack a powerful punch, I find that I return to a few favorite things: God, my wife, my family, and my core belief system that goodness, kindness and hard work, and other related common everyday virtues, will win out. I may be …

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Missing the family! When technology crosses the miles, but still comes up short

I see my daughter's face on the laptop screen. I focus on her smile. I can even see that she’s doing well and enjoying herself. It kills me though knowing that I can’t hug her or hold her by the shoulders and tell her that I’m proud of her for giving her best. I try …

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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 …

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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 …

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A perfect day

The coffee was weak, my toast was burnt, and my omelet tasted bland. My wife’s breakfast wasn’t much better—her crêpes looked soggy and lumpy. That’s not all. The restaurant was loud and had a strange echo and a cold breeze shook me every time a customer opened the door. Despite the food and the surroundings, …

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Twas’ the Night before Christmas & the rest of the story

In Clement Clarke Moore’s memorable poem, “Twas' the Night Before Christmas,”  the house was quiet as can be, the stockings were hung by the chimney with care and the children were all nestled in their beds – in the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there. Moore, an ancient languages scholar, wrote the poem …

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