Week of Winter Walking: Day Five

It’s truly never too late to try something new. I’ve lived almost my whole life in the Ohio River Valley, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever walked up out of it. Until today. My grandparents had a farm right on the river in Kentucky. Appropriately … [Read more...]

Week of Winter Walking: Day Four

Today’s walk, I must confess, was a little bit less about moving around and a little bit more about eating, drinking and shopping. But I subscribe to the firm belief that all things are good in moderation, so one day of walking plus beer is not so … [Read more...]

A Week of Winter Walking: Day One

Having a week off from teaching tends to make me introspective. This morning I lay in bed thinking how wonderful it was that I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow. This was followed, in no particularly logical sequence, by thoughts about how very … [Read more...]

In which I swear to never worry about anything ever again…

There’s a reason we often devise physical objects as tools to deal with worry. Rosary beds in Catholicism and prayer beads in Buddhism and Islam. Worry stones and those squeeze toys for stress relief. We counter worry with physical objects because … [Read more...]

The best classes are the ones that just might end early

A startling confession:  My worst fear about teaching is running out of things to say before the 50 minute period is over. This was true early in my teaching career and remains the case 10 years later. For the first 5 years or so of my career, this … [Read more...]

The things we forget: my grandmother’s stillness

Being hit with a fly swatter doesn’t hurt very much, at least not the way my grandmother did it. In the moments when she was most annoyed with her grandchildren, the fly swatter would come out, and she would bat it in our direction without much … [Read more...]

The things we forget: flowers

Over the holiday break, at some point before I contracted the plague that knocked me out for two weeks, I went to a Fresh Market in Louisville and bought a bouquet of roses. They were multicolored roses, an orange that faded towards red at the edge … [Read more...]

Finding more love in 2013

Taking a sociology class isn’t always a pretty thing. Part of what my discipline does is to help students strip away a bit of the rose-colored glasses society equips us with in order to see the gooey insides. And those gooey insides aren’t always so … [Read more...]

Twinkies, Black Friday and contemplating capitalism

Several times already this holiday season, my stepdaughter has asked whether her father or I will take her shopping on Black Friday.  Sadly for her, the answer is a unanimous, "No."  It doesn’t seem that there’s anything specific she’s looking to … [Read more...]

The day after: we are not divided

This morning I got in my car and turned the stereo from NPR to a Gillian Welch cd, signaling that now normal life will, once again, resume.  I’m feeling a little hungover from a whole night’s worth of television news network watching after four years … [Read more...]