Trouble in a foreign land

The young woman wore a white lab coat and smiled back at me, but before she even said a word, I could see that she had no idea what I had just asked. I was more than 3,900 miles from home and I was in trouble.  When I had agreed to travel with my daughter …

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Doggy guard duty

I get up from my nap groggy and annoyed. I had been up late the night before and was looking forward to catching up on my rest. Instead, Nittany, our beloved pet for the past 11 years, had other ideas. Nittany, a Lhasa Apso – Bichon Frise mix, spent ten minutes barking at what turned …

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Tired daddy

I get up and walk downstairs to our kitchen to pour myself a cold glass of milk. I sit down at the kitchen table, the only light coming from a street light outside our house, and take a sip.  I can’t sleep.  My mind is racing with a million thoughts.  Crying baby girl In the …

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Looking forward to a crowded stadium

I grew up loving Major League Baseball. My wife isn't as big of fan as me, but she still likes to go to a game or two each year. As a treat to ourselves, we bought tickets to the Philadelphia Phillies game in late August against the Cincinnati Reds.  We were excited about the game …

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A battle of the generations

My youngest son likes to poke fun of me. One of his favorite recent statements is that my generation—Generation X—messed everything up for future ones. He’s of course talking about global warming, the political divide that separates our country right now, our reliance on gas and oil, the anger between the races, etc., etc. He’s …

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A walk in the park

The ground is wet. I see that it rained the night before, but the sun is out and will burn-off the two or three puddles that I see along the trail in no time. We’ve taken a small handful of steps, but I can see already that my wife’s pace is brisk and determined and …

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When a bear came calling

I had been worried about the rain and now it was here, the sky had turned an angry black and was ready to let loose with great big buckets of water. We had spent the week camping and hiking in the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I had seen the reports of rain and thunder …

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The Mount Rushmore of everything

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial sculpture, carved in the Black Hills section of South Dakota, attracts nearly 3 million visitors each year. Workers used dynamite and jackhammers to remove more than 450,000 tons of rock to create the 60-foot high granite faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The site has …

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Fashion lessons from “The Rock”

Last fall my son raced down the stairs excited to go to his friend’s birthday party. He had been talking about the party all week. I looked at his outfit and tried my best to share his excitement, but also offer some fatherly advice. “Hmm, nice outfit. Are you sure you want to dress like …

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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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