Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Dark Walk Into the Light

THOSE WHO KNEW ME AS A KID often laughed at my flat, spoon-shaped fingernails.  It seemed my normals were sometimes oddities only realized in the astonished faces of my friends.  In fact those funny nails were the first manifestation of an auto-immune condition that included arthritis. The wonderful thing about arthritis is that pushing through it and staying mobile can be the last word.  The very affliction that threatened to immobilize me instead mobilized me.  And so I mountain bike, I swim, I surf, I ski.  And until recently, I have managed to deftly play the hand that fate has dealt.  In fact, I was sometimes grateful for it.  Who would I be if arthritis were not nipping at my heels, keeping me fit?  But lately the battle has intensified.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Adventures in the Bush

OK.  So I peed in the bushes.  It was a rare Sunday afternoon of beer for me, and I knew I was in trouble as we approached New York City’s heavily trafficked exit door at the Holland Tunnel.  My friend at the wheel assured me we would make it as we entered the tunnel.  He had it all figured out – with several service stations lining the welcome corridor in New Jersey, we would just pull off and scramble madly for a bathroom.  Every man for himself.  But it didn't happen that way.

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Father in the Trees

I visited my father's grave this weekend. He’s been gone almost 15 years. This time, however, there was something different. A barely-exposed root now traveled across the soft grass of his grave, borne from a tree just five yards away.

In the Regard of a Pelican

Until I arrived at the Gulf Coast to assist with the US Fish and Wildlife Service's damage impact studies from the Deepwater Horizon spill, I never considered the pelican to be much more than an odd and humorous backdrop to the region.

On The Occasion of My Mother's Birthday

The following was from a speech I made honoring my mother on her eightieth birthday five years ago...

Outgrowing Uncle Chuck

When I was a small boy, our family flew from our Great Lakes home to visit my father’s family in California.  It was there that, at the age of seven, I met my 35-year-old Uncle Chuck – the most wonderful guy in the world.