Growing up, my family's grocery shopping was always a major event, something I was forced to endure on a weekly basis. Every Saturday morning my father would comb the newspaper ads for specials. Like the true engineer he was, he mapped his shopping trajectory based on which stores had what deals. We spent the better part of our Saturday going from one market to the next --often four or more. I pushed the cart while he consulted his list. This was not quality father-son time.
With a childhood like
After the football game my wife and I took our older daughter out to dinner as we usually do on these Saturday evenings. A celebratory meal, certainly not for the prowess of our team, these after-game dinners reinforce the connections we have with our very independent children. With one in college and the other soon to be, we hardly ever see them. We are pre-empty nesters trying to get the hang of our new reality. This time, our younger daughter was entertaining friends at home.
I forgot to take a picture of my foot stuck in the Metro escalator. So, like all good crime stories, I have recreated the scene. X marks the spot.[/raw]
As I arrived at the surface from my subway commute, suddenly, a short, old woman, dressed in a mid February coat, crossed my path. "Pfeh," she said in her Slavic-sounding accent, "to you and your descendants!" I ignored her. But I had been cursed. And I hadn't even reached my cubicle yet.
Strange things began to happen; sudden
I suggested some alternatives to the realtor who plants American flags on our lawns every 4th of July. [/raw]
When it comes to our little plot of suburban heaven, we are outliers. We couldn't care less about having a perfect lawn. No monthly weed treatments and I do all the mowing. Some years, to make its upkeep a little less mundane, I do creative mowing. The best thing you can say about our grass is it's green. And, if you squint, it looks lush and, well, even greener.
Chapter One: An Interaction With a Teenager
Earlier this morning I dropped my younger daughter off at school to take the ACT test. As we got into the car she immediately turned the radio to her favorite station. Mumford & Sons' Believe was playing. Now, trying to connect with my 17 year old is always an iffy thing. Will I get merely grunts and groans to anything I say or a brisk reaction meant to shut down any conversation? I never know. The terrain is a minefield. Yet, I choose to traverse
A gift is not a thing. It’s a thought. And sometimes I wear these thoughts around my neck as a talisman, bringing me good fortune and as a reflection of my hard work.