I was walking home on the dark vacant streets of Delaware, Ohio in 1988 when a young shirtless mullet-haired man holding a Budweiser in each hand burst  through his screen door. He stood on the porch, motionless, eyeing me like I was a coyote and he had chickens to protect. For a moment I considered holding out[…]


I’m not sure who’s more attached to this stuffed animal: the owner or the owner’s parents. Two years ago when we nearly lost Froggy, Lindsay and I were way more panicked than Silas. He sat and watched — slack-jawed — as his mom and dad tore his home apart like paranoid coke dealers searching for[…]

A Floating Buffet

Seven years ago Lindsay and I went on our first and last cruise. We realized the first night we’re not cut from the red white and blue cloth needed to truly enjoy the Mecca of American excess. At a “Get to know your fellow cruisers” dinner, we were seated with a very large couple. I’d[…]

Hey, who left this gum here?

When an eight year old finds a mysterious gum ball (GBOUKO – “gum ball of unknown origin”) on his dresser, he doesn’t ask questions. He looks around quickly for evidence of foul play, and chews it. Blue was my favorite “flavor,” but given the banality of that particular Sunday afternoon, even a white GBOUKO got[…]

“Coing Coing Coing”

Most mornings our kids’ playroom looks like an ancient Roman bank excavated from the ruins of Pompeii. It’s littered with brittle pieces of clay money; some in stacks, others lying broken on the floor. Considering how decrepit they appear, it’s odd that they once had such immense value. If there’s one consistent and predictable element in[…]

Day 365: Series Finale

I recommend listening to Sia’s “Breath Me” while reading this post. Go ahead, click on it. Dramatic, right? I think drama is unavoidable today, since, as a finale, the desire to reflect and tie things up is irresistible. I’m a little nervous and also listening to “Breath Me.” Please keep those things in mind while reading. A year[…]

Day 362: The Human Pipe Cleaner

To avoid mass hysteria, we use an acronym around here. “C.E.C.” stands for Chuck E. Cheese, which if said within earshot of the kids, triggers emotional multi-ball. Silas jumps up and down, yelling “I want to go right now,” while Arlo drifts into a zombie-like state, wandering around chanting “Shoing E Shee … Shoing E Shee .. Shoing[…]

Day 353: Is This Your Bag, Sir?

I was thirteen years old when I told airport security my dad had a gun. Had it been post 9/11, we might have missed our international flight while a powdery latex glove attached to a GED recipient searched my father’s cavities. He’d accepted a year-long teaching position in Florence, Italy. We invited my best friend “S.P.” to come with[…]