"More than just the food traditions of Thanksgiving, however, I need to be surrounded by family -- this crazy year more than ever"


“Dad, I’ve made an executive decision.” Joe Jr. used to make pronouncements like that when he was a teenager. Back then, what followed was often distressing, if not downright frightening. But since he is now in his mid-thirties and has his own family, car and mortgage, I figured I was in pretty safe territory. “OK,” [...]

Posted at 6:39 am

I totally understand the jubilation you could clearly see on the faces of exuberant European Space Agency (ESA) officials this week when their remarkable Philae landing probe caught up with – and landed on – a comet. I felt the exact same thing when I fixed the door on our washing machine. The glory of [...]

Posted at 6:05 am

Wanda scanned the letter feverishly. Eventually, she would read it more carefully. No, that wasn’t quite right. Eventually, she would memorize the letter. But for now there was only one thing she wanted to know. She found it on the bottom of the last page: “P.S. Please encourage Aunt Rachel Little.” Oh, no, Wanda gasped [...]

Posted at 2:28 am

It was around this time of year a few years ago, and my wife, Anita, was driving along a tree-lined country road near our home with a carload of young thespians who were already late for dress rehearsal. It was not a good time to be unavoidably delayed. But then, when is? Anita was trying [...]

Posted at 8:19 am

I’ll be honest – we haven’t always had a great church choir. Which is kind of weird because we have some pretty terrific singers in the congregation. For example, Sterling sang on a Grammy Award-winning album or two. Rick and Holly did a Mary and Joseph thing during last year’s Christmas program that was so [...]

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: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]