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As American as apple pie?

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As American as apple pie?

This column first appeared in July, 2002.

Only in America, I guess, would something as American as apple pie make me feel so sad, and on the Fourth of July at that.

The Washington Post carried a story recently that launched this melancholy. A Brooklyn artist, Anissa Mack, assembled what’s called “an art installation” (my generation would have called it “a happening”) on the plaza in front of the Brooklyn Central Library. Read More»

A Ghost Story

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Some years ago we were heading home from a long-distance trek, when we heard a traveler’s ghost story on a two-day train ride from the Canadian west coast to Jasper, Alberta.

After the first 10 hours or so, not even the spectacle of the Rockies’ snowcapped peaks could keep us entertained. We struck up a conversation with a slender lad across the aisle, hunched over the little tray-table, catching up with his delinquent journal. Read More»

Y2K

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This could just as well have been published in 2014. We’ve had more mysterious glitches recently,15 years since Y2K....

From news services: Air traffic controllers across New Zealand, unable to communicate with each other as a result of a computer glitch, scramble to locate scores of flights. A backup system is activated, no mishaps reported.

And this: Americans receiving parcels from Germany are advised to handle them cautiously and call police if packages are unexpected – or from Frankfurt. Read More»

Green Eggs and Ham?

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Deadline is looming and I’ve lost this week’s almost finished column. Can’t tell you how often this happens: I fool around all week, suddenly scare up something that has caught my interest, write my fingers sore, proudly punch the “send” button, and voila!

Nothing.

Can’t find my notes, can’t even find where I was writing, and it’s getting dark and Dave has worked himself into a state that I’ll keep him awake if I don’t come to bed RIGHT NOW. Read More»

Kitchen Conservation

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The honeymoon is probably over by now for this summer’s crop of June brides.

Figuratively as well as literally.

The honeymoon is definitely over by the time you start having to deal with leftovers.

Despite my bragging some time ago that sending Dave to do the grocery shopping has resulted in reduced spending and fewer leftovers, there are still enough to keep me searching for room to put them in an already overloaded freezer and refrigerator.

I don’t know who came up with the idiotic dimensions of the standard refrigerator. It had to be a man. Read More»

Mea Culpa in Kitchen

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Feel the need to come clean in a couple of borderline deceptive actions recently.

One problem with co-existing with a chronic disease is that you may try to take advantage of it. Not a really bad habit, I suppose, but I’ve got to watch closely the tendency to use it for unearned benefits. Read More»

Falling for Vacation

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Among the usual souvenirs of a week at the beach – suntans, shells, a few extra pounds around the middle – Dave brought home the most spectacular bruise I think we’ve ever seen.

No, no, he hadn’t been tippling. He did this himself.

We had a week in Holmes Beach, Florida, with the usual cast of characters: Jean and her boys, Mary and Rainer (Mary’s German consort), Dave and I, with Rainer’s son and his girlfriend for one night. A merry crew it was, someone always coming and going, big decisions to be made, like where to eat dinner tonight, in or out. Read More»

See Grace

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This column originally appeared in The Citizen in 1999.

Like a song you start humming in the morning and can’t get out of your mind, one word comes to me over and over again to describe events in my life.

Grace. Pure grace. Disposed as I am to want to look beyond church talk — journalistic habits die hard — I went to my dictionary to see what it offers besides a theological definition of grace: “The unmerited love and favor of God toward mankind.” Read More»

A gathering of spirits

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This column originally appeared in April, 1998.

As we headed home, in 1998, from that surprising region of glaciers, waterfalls, forest and sea, starry nights and long, long days that comprise Alaska, we made a final stop in Sitka — for one more surprise. Read More»

From 'Appearances' to 'Foyle'

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I’m finally of an age that I should be allowed to watch whatever television program(s) I wish without apology or explanation.

Yet here I am trying to figure out why I am delving into what feels like a visit to the confessional. “And the envelope, please?”

It takes a little time to build up a “must-watch” list strong enough to make me say with a straight face, “I’m sorry, we have plans for that evening.”

Smile.

Sorry. Read More»

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