Frozen Moments: A Memory

Impressionist-like landscape Leaving work last Friday afternoon, and even a couple of moments earlier in the week, I paused to drink in the landscape around our office campus, so eerily quiet just now. It always possesses a bucolic beauty, even on the bleakest winter days. But at some point when I was too preoccupied with … Continue reading Frozen Moments: A Memory

Parenting Story, Part the Second: When A Thousand Miles Separate You From Your Sick Kid

Turns out, the universe was listening last week when I suggested it’s impossible always to protect your child. Especially when he is 26 and presumably the captain of his own ship—and he lives in Tennessee and you live way up in Vermont. Five o’clock a.m. on Wednesday came the messages, one after another, lighting up … Continue reading Parenting Story, Part the Second: When A Thousand Miles Separate You From Your Sick Kid

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: What Does Your Life Promise?

Life promises nothing. And everything. An earnest young man named Tristan called me Wednesday night on behalf of the University of Tennessee’s Arts and Sciences Annual Telefund, he said. I found a mailer from my alma mater in the P.O. box last week, so I knew this was coming and already planned to give. Perfect … Continue reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: What Does Your Life Promise?

Hope and the Human Spirit: Postcard from Home

Knoxville’s downtown Market Square once held an imposing masonry building that served as a center for thriving commerce, including a beloved farmer’s market that purveyed meat, poultry, dairy, produce, and flowers trucked in from the city’s rural outskirts. A 14-year-old boy set it ablaze lighting a cigarette in the late 1950s, goes the story, gutting … Continue reading Hope and the Human Spirit: Postcard from Home