Autumn Slips Forward

Autumn slips into place without a sound. One leaf, then another bleeds color at its edge. At first glance, I wonder, is that tree diseased? On succeeding days, the contagion spreads throughout an entire branch. Silently, the season tattoos foliage with melancholy. Autumn slips forward with the quiet magic of chemistry. Daylight declines and temperatures cool. … More Autumn Slips Forward

Things Fall Apart

“There is no goal, but only the path.” Taoist saying   Recently, my wife and I traveled with friends to Glacier National Park. Our journey through the Northwest included a stop at the classic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, WA. From there we visited historic lodges in Montana and Waterton Lake, Alberta. We dined in expansive … More Things Fall Apart

Family Matters …

Early in the winter, successive storms sailed into Oregon. Frigid air stalled their advance and they dropped anchor in the Columbia River Gorge. Walking became difficult. Deep powder clogged the sidewalks and pedestrians were forced to use the street. There, danger lurked as traffic packed the snow and hid slicks of ice. As with most Northwest … More Family Matters …

Indian Summer

In Oregon, the year’s most reliably pleasant weather occurs during Indian Summer. Today, on the eve of my 70th birthday, I strolled along the waterfront of the Columbia. The prevailing westerlies have lost their enthusiasm. This morning, the river laid flat. Paddle boarders cruised the smooth surface under a cloudless blue sky. Elsewhere, the convergence … More Indian Summer

Pneumonia

On Monday, July 25th, I circled the drain. Tuesday: I wondered, “Whose feet are these?”  I stared at bloated flesh topped with stubby sausages for toes. Then, I fell in love with a girl named Maureen. No, that’s not right. Her name was Morphine. By Wednesday morning, we were going steady. Accomplises delivered her to my room. … More Pneumonia

I Am With You

I Am With You is the title of a book of cancer essays, edited by Nancy Novak and Barbara K. Richardson. The collected authors are all veterans of cancer. Most live with it directly, while a few caregivers found eloquence within their experience. The editors chose a version of one of my blog posts, Where … More I Am With You

Common Ground

Yesterday, I walked home from Ground. This coffee shop is located at the bottom of Oak Avenue in Hood River. My wife and I had joined her sister and our nephew for lunch. Three days of shoveling snow following an iconic late to the party winter storm made me hungry for conversation. The others had … More Common Ground

Tender Mercies

In December of 2002, an uninsured driver caused an accident that left my oldest son, Noah, paralyzed. He was 22. In the immediate aftermath, our grief knew no bounds. We searched for answers. But none existed. Our resolve hardened against the injury’s tyranny. We imagined fictitious recoveries. But these were just pantomimes of wishful thinking. … More Tender Mercies