Category: Friends & Family

American sunrise

They called it Freedom Day, and I was skeptical. That’s what I’ve learned to become in my four decades on this planet. I was taught to feel pride. I was taught to feel exceptional....

We have clowns

“We have clowns.” “Hmm?” “Clowns. In the woods.” “Probably just a squirrel.” “You’re not listening.” “No. I am. You said we have clowns. Got it. Raccoon maybe.” “There were footprints. Very big footprints.” “Did...

Giggling at hell

There’s a man who makes birdhouses. He’s a jolly guy, the kind you’d think would be good to suit up as Santa come December. He’s a craftsman who hits the southeastern arts festivals, sits...

This is our home

The kid’s shot to right field was the kind that made you gasp. It came off the bat like a laser, and it didn’t matter that little leaguer was barely 70 pounds. The ball...

Marriage and the power of luck

She nibbled, and I didn’t understand why. I came from a family of people who took fresh bites of their food before fully swallowing what they’d just chewed. Michelle, a petite girl who played...

Threadbare troubadour

Getting old is easy. It happens without your permission. It happens on its own. It’s literally effortless. The hard part is finding any good in it happening. Something happened last night, and it made...

Remembering the first kill

This week in Arizona, a nine-year-old girl shot and killed her shooting instructor by accident. The instructor was teaching the little girl to shoot an automatic 9mm Uzi. Sit with those two sentences for...

A letter to an American kid

I will never forget the day you were born. I will never forget the day you turned ten years old. They were both days that scared me until I could feel the fear in...

The email my son won’t get

Hey, buddy. We dropped you off at camp yesterday. We watched you sit on your bunk in a cabin you’d never seen before. We met your counselor. You mimicked his Australian accent and called...

Mom’s pencil

One of my earliest memories—one’s that just gauzy enough to prove its age, but just clear enough to be truer than most—is a pencil in my mom’s hand. It’s jitting and jotting across a...

Mr. Andy

My younger son met Mr. Andy at our local grocery store. Mr. Andy bagged groceries for hours on every shift. Once the bags were in the cart, Mr. Andy would push them out to...