Oil Change

Dear Friends, On a Tuesday morning, I thought I might be among the few seeking a mid-week oil change for their cars. Wrong. My car dealership waiting area was filled to the brim – a mom with her fussy toddler in tow, businessmen and women in suits checking their iPhones, a few students, a retiree reading the paper, folks who […]

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Public Service Announcement

Dear Friends, Getting to stay up late at night to watch TV was something that my Italian grandparents indulged me in whenever I spent my summer vacation with them. Just before the eleven o’clock news was about to air, there was a nightly public service announcement that always got my attention. A deep male voice would boom, “It’s 11:00 o’clock. Do you know where your […]

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Salmon Sense

Dear Friends, It was hard not to adopt a salmon state of mind when I visited Vancouver a few months ago. The salmon is a fish whose fate was – and still is – intermingled with the lives and well-being of the people who live along the northwest Pacific coast of North America. During our trip, I noticed that salmon appeared […]

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Restoration

Dear Friends, “See that?” the young engineer said, pointing to the wood floor joists above my head. “That’s your problem.” We were standing together in the basement of my 80 year-old home, and I had the feeling I was in for some not-so-good news. In an attempt to analyze my home’s energy efficiency, it seems that the engineering firm uncovered a […]

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The Presence of Greatness

Dear Friends, At about two hours into our weekend drive to the mountains, Gail, Leo and I made our regular stop at a rest area near Franklin, North Carolina. We weren’t alone, as other travelers had parked their cars, minivans and SUVs to take advantage of this well-maintained facility and picnic grounds. People and pets were stretching their legs, using their […]

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Ferguson Fury

Dear Friends, Unless you have been away from the newspaper, TV and Internet the past few weeks, you are likely aware of the deeply troubling news of a young man’s death and a community’s outrage. The shooting death of 18-year Michael Brown, an unarmed African American man, by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, has brought pain, anger and violence to the […]

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Human Endurance

Come on, Terry . . . join us for the Grouse Grind! Dear Friends, This invitation was not one to try a new blend of Seattle coffee. Rather, it was my two traveling companions, Denis and Jay, casually asking me to accompany them on a not-so-casual hike on one of our last days in Vancouver, British Columbia. The hike up […]

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Human Endurance

HUMAN ENDURANCE Come on, Terry . . . join us for the Grouse Grind! Dear Friends, This invitation was not one to try a new blend of Seattle coffee. Rather, it was my two traveling companions, Denis and Jay, casually asking me to accompany them on a not-so-casual hike on one of our last days in Vancouver, British Columbia. The hike up the 3,700-foot […]

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A Nice Walk Anyway

Dear Friends, Deviled eggs?Yep. Strawberries?Got ‘em. Sunscreen?Got that, too. Folding chairs?Ready to go. Cell phone coverage? As we checked off our list of items to bring with us to DuPont State Forest near Brevard, NC, that last item – cell phone coverage – actually wasn’t on the list at all. That’s because we assumed that this 10,000-acre park filled with hiking trails and waterfalls was in the […]

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Pack Nothing, Begin Quickly

Dear Friends, As Passover is upon us and Easter is near, this is a special time for millions of Jews and Christians around the world. Tragically, this holy week started off with a shooting rampage at a Jewish community center in Kansas that left two adults and one teen dead. It has all the indications of an anti-Semitic hate crime, […]

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