Nostalgic Story: High-Waisted Trousers and Sensible Boots

“This is better than Saks Fifth Avenue,” quipped the well-heeled older woman when the two of us bumped elbows examining rustic pottery mixing bowls and honey pots. One look at her and you could tell she’d seen the inside of Saks and probably others of its ilk, and many times. “Anyway,” she went on, “you … Continue reading Nostalgic Story: High-Waisted Trousers and Sensible Boots

Dear Gmail: Please Stop Putting Worms Words in My Mouth

In what I’ll characterize as AI run amok, this past spring Gmail (Google, that is) snuck in a little auto-suggest module (called ‘Smart Compose’) ostensibly to help compromised Gmail users—I mean, what other explanation is there, gentle reader? I understand the temptation to do this: so many folks these days struggle to cobble together a … Continue reading Dear Gmail: Please Stop Putting Worms Words in My Mouth

Journal Entry: Florence Is an Italian City

But millions of people in America’s mid-Atlantic will forever think of her first and foremost as a hurricane, of course. “Aren’t you glad you came down in July?” went my sister’s text at a moment when she was still paying close attention to weather and assessing the threat to her South Carolina home, considering staying … Continue reading Journal Entry: Florence Is an Italian City

Journal Entry: The Earth Grows Restless and Begins to Shift

And the days grow notably shorter. It had to happen eventually, I suppose. But the poison parsnip is dead, and good riddance to it. “I don’t suppose your leaves have started turning yet,” mused my dad at the other end of a cell phone connection about a week ago. “No,” I said, “but just last … Continue reading Journal Entry: The Earth Grows Restless and Begins to Shift

Family Story: Baked Beans on the Ceiling

“Are those…baked beans…on my kitchen ceiling, Grandmother?” It was my mom’s perturbed voice. You could also tell when she was perturbed by how she called somebody. Granny Grace—my great grandmother—was always just Granny, or maybe occasionally Gracie, but ‘Grandmother’ was the moniker mom used when Gracie did something vexing. Come to think of it, Gracie … Continue reading Family Story: Baked Beans on the Ceiling

A Story about Humor: The Best Kind of Barometer (for Anything That Matters)

Is there really any better yardstick than humor for measuring, I don’t know, intelligence? Depth of character? General amiability in a person? I think not. I can recall several occasions where I forgot about this important metric when I was making an important decision that would palpably affect my life, and lived to regret it. … Continue reading A Story about Humor: The Best Kind of Barometer (for Anything That Matters)