Where’s The Brisket?

In our 45 years together, I don’t recall Joanna ever serving brisket – maybe she did, I just don’t remember it. Fast forward several years… Rob is living in Dallas. On one of my visits, he remarked how Texans are in love with their brisket. On another visit, the girls’ school had a fundraiser at one of the many BBQ restaurants. I had…

Close Cover Before Striking!

Several years ago, I started saving matchbooks and matchboxes. Up until the early 1990’s they were ubiquitous – restaurants, hotels, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, etc. offered them. As the country woke up to the dangers of smoking, these give-away matches are almost non-existent today – gone the way of public telephones, LP records, cassette tapes and VHS recordings. After breaking my nasty…

Way More Than Sand Castles!

An article in the paper caught my eye: …the annual Clearwater Beach Sugar Sand Festival, a ten day celebration, starts today at Pier 60. The festival pays tribute to two of the Tampa Bay’s most valuable assets: sand and sunsets. Eleven sculptors are creating elaborate works for this year’s theme, ‘Sugar Sand FantaSea, a Magical Adventure Above and Below the…

Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

The cable bill seemed to growing faster than my grandchildren – and those young folks grow up fast! I moved to a new apartment this fall and as part of my monthly lease was a $30 charge for data/internet access in my unit. If I wanted TV service, I’d have to buy it from the apartment’s sole provider: Directv. I’d been thinking about…

A Pacific Northwest Adventure

Looking for a new experience, this description of a six-day getaway sounded appealing: “Paddle the tidal marshes, boreal forests and pristine estuaries of the lower Columbia River with experts as you improve your kayak technique and learn the story of this ancient region.” I’d never sat in a kayak, so I had no technique to improve! Upon further reading about…

Yosemite!

John Muir, one of the earliest advocates of the national park idea and its most eloquent spokesman, said of Yosemite: “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of nature I was ever permitted to enter.” I found James Kaiser’s Yosemite, The Complete Guide very helpful in learning about this National Park. In the months leading up to my trip, I…

A Succession of Moments

I left Massachusetts to “seek my fortune” before my twentieth birthday. Over the next fifty years I returned for short visits – to be married; to have the kids baptized; to attend funerals; to visit family – never staying more than a week or so. My last visit was to put Joanna to rest beside her Mom and Dad in…

Death Valley: The (Not So) Barren Beauty

Several years ago, we lived for a time in Arizona. Going there we thought it was going to be this arid, unforgiving place. But, we found it to be alive and vibrant – especially when in bloom! Recently, when I told people I was going on a hiking trip to Death Valley National Park they looked at me as if I was…

Joy In The Ordinary

Upon my mother’s death in 1989, William Sullivan, the obituary editor of the Patriot Ledger, called the house to tell us they occasionally write “feature obituaries” that recount the lives of everyday residents. He wanted to write one about my mother. I explained she was a very modest woman who never really wanted the spotlight on herself – she was proud when her children…

John E. Morgan: The Pastor/The Man

John Ellsworth Morgan entered my life when I was a child. In 1953 he was called to our family church, Union Congregational in Wollaston, Massachusetts as its pastor. Years later, I came to know him more intimately as my father-in-law. I commit these facts and thoughts to “digital paper” so my children, grandchildren and future generations can learn about, remember and appreciate this man. Source material consists of archival…