We hardly ever get the ‘full story’

If you ask the average American what they know about South Africa, I’m going to guess the answer will probably be apartheid and Nelson Mandela.

Maybe you’ll get some people who remember then men’s soccer World Cup in 2010, or even those who — especially if the saw the movie “Invictus” or read “Playing the Enemy,” the book upon which it was based (I’ve done both) — are aware of the country’s famed Springboks national rugby team.

But apartheid and Nelson Mandela is probably what you’re going to get, mostly because that’s what we’ve heard about South Africa.

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Optimism is good … but I’m not optimistic

This week, I’m talking about an auction that expressed a great deal of optimism, and how I’m not very optimistic at all, even though I know I should be.

(Even if you don’t like the politics behind this piece, the paragraph about bracing yourself for a fall is still good advice.)

Here are all the places you can listen.


Apple Podcasts



Pocket Casts

Google Podcasts


Lessons in Loss: Y

“Sometimes loss is part of growing into the person we have become, sometimes it leaves us feeling like something’s fundamentally missing, sometimes we can’t remember what it was like before we lost whatever it was.”

That’s part of how one of my best blogging buddies, Pea Green over at Smelly Socks and Garden Peas, introduced her series called “Lessons in Loss.” (The photo above is her logo for the series.)

She asked several of her favorite bloggers to take part, and I’m happy to say that not only am I one of them, I’m kicking off the series!

It’s also my first guest post, and it’s about how losing a letter helped symbolize the process of growing up. Please go check it out, and if you like it, be sure to let her know. (Read her other stuff, too. It’s really good!)

The moments we’ve lost

I’m not saying not a lot happens on our street, but when the highlights include:

— a man who jogs down the road very slowly,

— a boy who tools along on his scooter every day it’s not raining,

— the neighborhood dog coming through on his walk …

… yeah, not a lot happens on our street.

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Looking for a little adventure

We’re going to Lowe’s.

Because we actually got the leaf guy to come last fall, we don’t need him now, but when he comes in the spring, he also cleans up the yard and puts down mulch.

Instead, Suzi and I going to do it, but we need mulch.

Hence the trip to Lowe’s. (We’re also going to order takeout from the nearby Cheesecake Factory.)

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How are you keeping yourself sane?

How do you keep yourself sane?” was an interesting question two years ago. It’s a really interesting, and likely far more difficult question to answer, now.

It should tell you something about my personality that one of my least-favorite expressions is “Don’t worry about the things you can’t control.”

After all, the alternative is to worry about things I can control, and what’s the point of that, since I control them?

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Anything is possible, until it isn’t

First the was the flight — overnight, over water, over-tired me at the end because I didn’t sleep.

Then there was the train from the airport to the hotel, keeping an eye on our luggage so it didn’t roll away.

Then, before everything else, there was this view out the hotel room window.

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Flying solo

When you hear someone talking, and you don’t expect to hear someone talking, and you can’t figure out where the talking is coming from, it can get kind of unnerving.

I finally found him, standing on the porch, but it took a few seconds to realize he was talking to his dog, saying to go back inside because it was too cold.

A few seconds later, I turned around, and the guy was pulling up his coat, dog on the leash in front of him.

Because the dog always wins.

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Not so wild, not so crazy, not so bad

We were bored in the way that college kids with way too much energy way too late at night and not much going on can be, so we decided to do something about it.

Although there were more than us that could even comfortably fit into the station wagon Kit was driving, we piled in and drove to the local casino.

Not so much to gamble, mind you, but to … walk around.

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A good day to stay inside

Suzi was playing the local classical music station; that was the noise I heard from the other room.

Neither of us are big listeners of classical music, but as a promo for the station said, it was kind of an oasis.

After all, the music was soothing, and no one was yelling.

And there was no news.

Continue reading “A good day to stay inside”