It’s 1974, and I’m eighteen years old. I drive a slant-six Plymouth Duster, and I wear my hair long and my jeans tight. I hang out at John Piper’s pool hall, where I play the pinball machines. When the weather’s good, I play basketball on the schoolyard. My game has never been better. I’m young…

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We’re nearing the middle of January, which means the end of the month is in sight.  Given the challenges of the pandemic, I thought it interesting to revisit this post from a year ago. A native Midwesterner, I’ve always thought of winter as an endurance test, and each signpost along the way—the end of January,…

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Here at the start of a new year, I’m thinking of how much 2020 asked of us, not only in our day-to-day lives but in our writing lives as well. As I’ve said in other places, some of us have struggled to write and some of us have immersed ourselves in our writing either as…

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I’m writing this on the last Sunday of 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus that has taken over a million seven-hundred lives worldwide, the virus that has totally disrupted our normal come-and-go. We wear facial masks now—at least we should—and we keep our distance from one another, and we avoid gatherings, and…

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This week of Christmas, I’m thinking of the trees we used to cut in our woods on the farm, cedar trees that we’d carry to the house and put in a stand at the window in our front room. Those trees were unruly, left to grow the way nature would have it, so unlike the…

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I haven’t been able to run in over a month due to sciatica nerve pain down my right leg. It’s a familiar discomfort, one that put me in physical therapy for seven weeks in 2014. I’ve been doing all the stretching exercises and applying heat. I just finished my third round of prednisone. Things get…

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Here we are, about three weeks before Christmas, and then, at least for us here in central Ohio, the turn into the gray days of January and February. It’s always been a time when I’ve been inclined to hibernate, and even more so these days of the pandemic. I’m trying my best to embrace the…

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Of course, you’ve probably heard the joke about the man who was so old he refused to buy green bananas because he wasn’t sure he’d be around to see them ripen. Indeed there comes a time when we learn to shorten our vision into the future. Long-term dreams that sustained us when we were younger,…

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Cathy and I, the past few years, have been opening our home on Thanksgiving Day, providing a welcome table to anyone who might need a place to go. Of course, we’re disappointed that the pandemic has made that impossible this year, but our gathering’s loss is a small price to pay for the sake of…

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Target, Walmart, PetSmart, Famous Footwear, Panera Bread, Olive Garden, and on and on and on, this gathering of stores and restaurants that make up the strip malls and shopping centers of our communities. Set me down here or there in our country, and I’ll find myself in familiar environs. What does such homogeneity mean for…

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