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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Favorite Christmas moments

The service department manager had his cellphone up to his ear, but kept cracking jokes under his breadth to the worker standing next to him about the computer system being down again. The worker just smiled and kept looking at his own screen. Unlike the two of them, I wasn’t smiling. I had my car …

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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, …

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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 …

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