"Life has a way of ... well, if not compensating us for its vicissitudes, at least turning a few nos into unexpected yeses."

ValueSpeak

Oct
17
Posted at 1:01 am

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t exactly sure who my mother was. Was it the older woman with the jet black hair and olive skin? Or was it the fresh-faced, brown-haired teenager, the one everyone called Jean? For the first few years it was truly puzzling until I figured it out: [...]

Oct
10
Posted at 3:35 am

By the time you read this, you’ll know something that I don’t know: the winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. The announcement is expected on Friday; I’m writing on Thursday. And no, I’m not expecting a call from Nobel headquarters in Oslo, Norway, between my now and your now. I pretty much blew that [...]

Oct
03
Posted at 5:19 am

Every time I turn on the news I hear this scary word that hasn’t always been scary: Ebola. Prior to 1976, if you said “Ebola” you were probably referring to the Ebola River in what is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to my research staff (thank you, Wikipedia), the Ebola [...]

Sep
26
Posted at 3:50 am

To be honest, I don’t think my parents ever heard Aretha Franklin sing “Respect” back in 1967. There wasn’t a lot of room for the Queen of Soul on the AM radio station to which they listened, what with all the Mantovani, Percy Faith and Perry Como music that had to be played. Which is [...]

It’s easy to understand why something we do roughly 20,000 times a day might be taken for granted. In fact, you did it a few times while reading the previous sentence and you didn’t even think about it – am I right? Nothing comes as naturally or as easily to us as a biological species [...]

Sep
12
Posted at 3:46 am

OK, I admit it: I had a crush on JoAnn. So what? Every boy in the 5th grade had a crush on her. Why should I be any different? Of course, none of us let on that we liked her. I mean, she was … you know … a girl. Never mind that she was [...]

Sep
05
Posted at 1:23 am

From the time she was a little girl, my mother dreamed of having a large family. When her friends back in the Roaring Twenties talked about not wanting children, or at most one or two, Mom would unapologetically announce her intention to have “at least a dozen.” They thought she was kidding. She wasn’t. She [...]

Aug
29
Posted at 3:51 am

Beck wasn’t the best player on our church league softball team that summer. But then, he didn’t have to be. He was the lay leader of our congregation, which sort of made it his team. So nobody was going to tell him he couldn’t play. But somebody had to tell him about The Hat. My [...]

Aug
22
Posted at 1:09 am

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to mow the lawn that late summer afternoon when I was 13. Well, OK. I actually didn’t want to mow the lawn. But I was willing to do it. It was my job in the family, and had been since my big brother Bob graduated from high school. I [...]

Aug
16
Posted at 12:16 am

She couldn’t be more than 5 years old. And yet there is a lifetime of hurt in her eyes as she stands there among other refugees, a bag of belongings on her shoulder as they collectively flee ISIS terrorism and seek safety in Kurdistan. Perhaps you saw the AP photo, too. And perhaps you were [...]