He Shed, She Shed

I’m new to this Homeowners’ Association (HOA) thing. They feel fairly ubiquitous — even Tia, with a lot way out in Parlin, has an HOA — but it’s nothing I’ve had to deal with directly in all my years. It does turn out that the Palisades subdivision came with covenants, but no one knew that […]

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A Small Thing

The memorial service for Jim Baril, the man my family moved next door to 50 years ago, took place Saturday afternoon on the campus where he had conducted his livelihood as a professor of English. My mom was one of the speakers at the service, and among the anecdotes she recounted was a story about […]

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The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Oz and I seem hellbent on destroying our new house as quickly as we can, and I for one am certainly not impressed with us. If you will recall, one week ago today he went tearing off after a skunk and shared that experience with nearly every corner of our house. (At least he learned […]

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How Strange

Ben left work early this week because he and his wife were going to Denver for a concert. It sounded like they were off to see The Who, which might actually have been a possibility before Roger Daltrey, age 75 and still touring with the band he first joined 55 — 55! — years ago, […]

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Fired Up

In the olden days, the places I lived in all came with a natural gas forced air heating system. Everything else was electric. Dryers. Hot water heaters. Ranges. Space heaters. It was the Way of the World, for my entire life. Of course now that has changed, and I can see that I am going […]

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Fast Food Goes Fast

Usually when I come home with juicy gossip, Lynn listens without interruption, then informs me she heard that days ago and forgot to mention it to me. I don’t know how she expects to get anywhere with an air of indifference like that. But she always knows ahead of me because she generally spends a […]

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Wild Kingdom

If you’re an American of a certain age — say, about mine — chances are good you remember sitting with your family in front of the television watching Marlin Perkins host Wild Kingdom. “Reality TV” was decades away, so this was I guess documentary as Mr. Perkins paraded an endless supply of exotic animals in […]

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Could I Have This Dance?

It was the most graceless proposal anyone could imagine. When my friend Loren planned to propose, he took his girlfriend to the place where they first kissed. Kara’s husband-to-be arranged everything ahead of time with one of the Fourth-of-July balloonists. But when I asked Lynn to marry me, she was stretched out in her recliner […]

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