Archive for July 2017

19 thoughts for my daughter on her 19th birthday

19 thoughts for my daughter on her 19th birthday
  When I look at you and see glimpses of your Papa and flashes of myself, I feel proud. When I look at you and see the singular person you have become all on your own, I feel joy. The academic year 2012-2013 was our Buffy, Season 6.  I didn’t like being pregnant for a... Read more »

If I spent some time with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, this is what I'd do

If I spent some time with Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, this is what I'd do
Tonight is ChicagoNow’s Blogapalooz-Hour. It’s one of my favorite nights each month. Writing can be solitary work. It needn’t be, but it often is. This summer I’ve been trying to meet up with other writers so that I’m not working alone, and it’s been rewarding. On this night, even though I am tucked into my... Read more »

Cancer does not make us (or John McCain) better people

One of the truths that we with cancer hold self-evident is that cancer does not make you a better person. I’m not sure where this mythology originates. Probably from the same fairy dust that produces “brave,” “courageous” “fighters” and that demands cancer patients be “positive.” Cancer patients are no more or less good than the... Read more »
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Between the devil and the deep blue sea: when the predator becomes the savior

Between the devil and the deep blue sea: when the predator becomes the savior
You’ve probably seen the video that’s gone viral this week of a dog saving a fawn that was drowning in the Long Island Sound. It’s a classic case of being between the devil and the deep blue sea. Do you give in to your predator’s grasp on your neck (in order to tow you to... Read more »

Cancer doesn’t care how tough John McCain is

Cancer doesn’t care how tough John McCain is
As a prisoner of war, John McCain surely learned all there is to know about powerlessness, confinement, and survival. Unlike Donald Trump, I have great respect for him because he was a POW. It’s a misnomer to think that “better” soldiers don’t get caught or that “tougher” men always win. So much of life and... Read more »

Anxious dreams remind me to breathe

Anxious dreams remind me to breathe
Anxiety takes up residence in my body sometimes before my brain knows about it. And before I can put into words what I’m fretting over, I sometimes have dreams that stand in for them. My anxiety dreams take several forms. When I was much younger I periodically dreamed that my teeth were crumbling. I would... Read more »
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For my future self: remember these things for tomorrow

For my future self: remember these things for tomorrow
Just outside the back door, there is a giant blue umbrella. As far as outdoor umbrellas go, it’s pretty high end. A few years ago, the wind destroyed the old green one, along with the roof. Remember that insurance replaced it all (after the deductible). You used the full amount that insurance allotted to buy... Read more »

Finding joy when the sh*t hits the fan

Finding joy when the sh*t hits the fan
A friend of mine once told me that when he was living in Arkansas he was changing his son’s diaper on a sweltering day. An oscillating fan was helping to keep the heat at bay. When he set the poopy diaper aside a sticky tab caught on one of the fan blades, and, well, the... Read more »