That Daughter of Mine

“I have heard that your first fall off of a horse may determine what kind of rider you will be.” I didn’t write that, my daughter Anna did. She continued: “My heart dropped as I watched Sally fall to the ground, but I knew I had to stand back and watch to see how she […]

Panic Attack

“Tell me what the symptoms are and if I don’t have them, I’ll get them for you.” I actually said that to my doctor and he smiled, not because he thought it was a joke but, because he knew it was the truth. When you’re a borderline hypochondriac, it’s hard to distinguish the real from […]

Fight or Flight or Another Way

In the first chapter of her autobiography Sipping Tea with Buddha and Christ , Alexa Benson-Valavanis tells the story of an old man in London who was trapped in a dead end alley by three young men. Certain that he would be beaten and robbed, and knowing that “fight or flight” were not viable options, he searched […]

Invest Like a Girl

“Can I talk with your better half?” was the caller’s request to my sister-in-law.  She replied, “Speaking.”  Not long ago, my wife, upon leaving for a prolonged stay with one of our daughters, uttered a similar self-evident truth. “You would starve to death with a full refrigerator if I weren’t around.” I appreciate how much […]

Shake, Rattle and Roll

“You might want to set that bag down.” His voice startled me, but it was his tone and mannerism that really surprised me. He didn’t seem the least bit nervous. As a matter of fact, he seemed amused by my obvious apprehension. I couldn’t figure out how he could be so calm while I was […]

Being Human

I have only used an ATM machine three times in my life, never without help, and oddly, never in the same country. For some reason, I have a phobia about engaging in financial transactions with machines. That’s why I was so nervous recently about an upcoming trip. I had to go to San Francisco, which […]

Maintaining Discipline

Not long ago I received an email from a niece, Claire, who robs trains on weekends. Actually she does Old West reenactments. This particular email related a conversation she had with the engineer of a locomotive she had just held-up. Having discovered in her genealogy pursuits that her great-great grandfather (my great-grandfather) had been killed […]

The “New Normal” is Not New

Looking around at the rows of trees and the old brick warehouse, I didn’t see much that was new – but what was new was old. A couple of years ago, after a forty-year absence, I returned to the grounds and orchards of the Abbey of New Clairvaux where every spring I had placed bees […]