Santa Claus is in my house! He arrived just moments before when a thud shook the house, followed by loud banging, sounds of sleigh bells, and stomping on the floor above us. I was five years old and paralyzed with excitement: Santa had flown all the way from the North Pole to my house in Ashland, Kentucky.Read More
Published by the Blue Lake (California) Literary Review, October 2013
I was spending a little time with my mother in Ashland, Kentucky, in the summer of 1998. We were on a day trip when she put her hand on my arm and said, “You’re such a nice young man. What is your name?” It took me a second to understand that she was not kidding—my mother had forgotten my name.Read More
My ten-year old grandson and I were sitting on the deck of my home waiting for a summer rain to start. The deck faces east and is protected by an overhang, and I have sat there often over the years as Michigan rainstorms have passed over. Having him with me as he eagerly awaited the coming storm made this storm special: I’m passing along a tradition I learned from my mother.Read More
As a people, Americans are big-hearted and have boundless enthusiasm. But occasionally in our enthusiasm, we mangle logic and misuse words. When this happens, powerful words are weakened to the point of becoming meaningless.Read More
“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” Robert Frost wrote in one of the most misunderstood poems in the English language. “Misunderstood” because all that people remember is the response of the thoughtless neighbor who “will not go behind his father’s saying…” which is “Good fences make good neighbors.”Read More
Say this sentence: there is fewer water in a lake than an ocean. Does this sound strange to you? If you are a native English speaker, it should.
Now try this: less people can apply for jobs. This should also sound strange, but for a growing number of people, it does not. I hear this coming both from highly educated people and uneducated people who do not know the difference between “less” and “fewer.”Read More