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Showing posts from March, 2014

Sister Day

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Lo these many years ago, two little girls in Westfield, Massachusetts decided that if there was a Mother's Day, Father's Day and Grandparents' Day, there should be a Sister Day.

Well, it's sort of backwards. The first Sister Day was a day in which my bratty little sister strangely decided to be nice to me all day. She was sweet and nice and hugged me and even did my chores, which had me checking under my bed that night, let me tell you. I'm not saying we fought a lot as kids, but I will say we had very different personalities as children. I was the quiet one. (Hush you, in the back. I heard that.)

Things were back to normal the next day, of course, but I didn't forget. I wrote about it in my diary. And a year later, on that same day, I did the same for her. And we decided from then on that March 31 would be Sister Day. Being that this was waaaaay before the internet, we had no way of knowing there is an "official" Sister Day on Aug. 3. By the time we …

Voices in River City

Greetings from Madison, Ind. Well, actually... Carrollton, Ky. It's kinda the same place. But not really.

I was invited to be a guest author at the Madison Author Fair, hosted by the lovely folks at That Book Place in Madison, Ind. I was happy to accept, especially since my good friend Stephen Zimmer was to attend with his crew from Seventh Star Press, and I always prefer events where I know someone. I'm shy.

Right up to departure, however, I was having the biggest trouble finding a place to stay. Madison has a number of chain hotels, all of which were $100 a night or more and I am seriously lacking in hotel points at the moment. There were a couple of independents, which had some fairly negative reviews... and while I am not picky, I do have minimum standards. Safe, clean and no bugs. I've stayed in too many fleatraps where critters rode home with me in my luggage, unsavory gentlemen watched too closely as I entered my outdoor-corridor motel door, and - best of all - that…

Lenten Ramblings

Ash Wednesday is upon us, and that means it's time for the joyous celebration of Lent.

Yeah, there's not often a lot of "joy" or "celebration" in Lent. Just check out the hymns... whenever we start chanting in Lent, I hear Monty Python's papier-mache God complaining, "It's like those psalms, they're soooo depressing." In years past (and often today) many Christians have chosen to interpret Lent as a season of scourging, of punishing yourself, carrying the woe of humanity's murder of the Christ, etc.

Not me. Ashes notwithstanding.

To me, Lent is a season of reflection, a forty-day period of meditation and self-improvement. I don't think it helps God or anyone for me to wear the (metaphorical) hair shirt for seven weeks. But if you give up something for Lent, there should be an actual reason for it beyond "I'm giving up something for Lent." Otherwise it is a hollow exercise, a public self-flagellation that serves no…

Literal Letters

Today we were shocked, shocked I say, to find a small card in the mail.

Not a come-on from a dentist or politician. Not another (eternal) medical bill. Not ad No. 531531593 from wedding vendors seeking our business. Not that thick bundle of grocery store stuffers we get each week (it would kill you nerds to put them in the newspaper where they belong?)

A hand-addressed card, sent to both of us and sealed in an actual paper envelope that did not involve a cellophane window. I got all excited for a moment.

Then it turned out to be a gracious card from the jeweler where we bought our rings. He thanked us for our business and said he was very excited to see our final choice on my wedding band. Yeah, me too.

It occurred to me that we very rarely get actual letters. I send them from time to time, to my grandmother who does not partake of the internet. Everyone else is on Facebook. What would you say in a letter that won't reach your friend for days or even a week, when you will talk to …