My wife knows how to pick a fine specimen (a Christmas tree, of course).

If my wife had been as discriminating picking husbands as she is picking Christmas trees, I can only assume we wouldn’t be married. Continue reading “My wife knows how to pick a fine specimen (a Christmas tree, of course).”

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A good way to spend a minute

I first read ‘Your Blinded Hand’ by Tennessee Williams in The New Yorker six years ago. It’s proven to be unforgettable. It was published 18 days after the arrival of my first-born son, and I read it while still floating, amazed by my joy, which is partly why it has left such an impression, I guess. But regardless, it’s a powerful depiction of our desperate belief that, in the face of disaster and despair, we will not be alone. It both warms and haunts. I thought it should have a place on this blog. Continue reading “A good way to spend a minute”

Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping

We hit the road for our first Cub Scout camping trip, to Westgate River Ranch, an outdoor oasis in the middle of anonymous, sprawling scrubland — a wonderland of vast fields, bulls standing sternly at fences daring you to come just a little closer, a rodeo arena with its dazzling orange dirt, a saloon, all on the wide and wild Kissimmee River. Other than a lesson on the joys of being immersed in the outdoors while with a couple hundred outstanding people, here’s what we learned: Continue reading “Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping”

Hillbilly Elegy, my sister, and the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth

It came out before Trump became president, but the New York Times best-seller Hillbilly Elegy has become a Bible of sorts for trying to understand the plight of poor, white people and their choice for president. I’m one of the perplexed liberals who looked to it for answers, too, even though I’m white and I grew up poor myself. Continue reading “Hillbilly Elegy, my sister, and the ‘Obama is a Muslim’ myth”