One tree hill

I’ve been drawn to trees since I was a young kid, mostly as a climber.  This old tree caught my eye on a hill that I drive by on my way to work.  The tree is interesting because there are no other trees around it.  It’s all alone on this hilltop, struggling against the elements…

Impossible is overrated

Philippe Petit does the impossible… just because it SEEMS impossible. You may recognize the name of the man who walked on a tightrope between the World Trade Center towers in 1974, a story you should see in its entirety in the Academy Award-wining documentary “Man on Wire.”  My son Evan and I just had the…

Fight or flight?

We all learn to deal with stress in different ways.  I learned by watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Remember when Marlin Perkins sent Jim Fowler into the jaws of danger while he provided color commentary from the safety of an armored jeep?   “It looks like Jim has successfully gained the crocodile’s attention, and he…

True colors

“I see your true colors shining through. I see your true colors, and that’s why I love you.”  Why does this Cyndi Lauper song stop me in my tracks every time I hear it?  It makes me visualize an old painting, like the ones you see on the antique roadshow.  “My Great Uncle Henry had…

What was your name again?

One of my friends asked for the secret to remembering people’s names at a party.  I won’t reveal her age, but she’s old enough to be a little short-term memory-challenged (like me.)  I actually learned a great technique for remembering names early in my career. 1)  Prepare to hear the name (I mean really get…

The running man

I ran, and finished, my first half-marathon Sunday morning.  I’ve never entered a big race and never run that far in my entire life. Just last year I could barely run 2 miles without stopping to walk. They say 2 hours and 6 minutes is a respectable time for 13.1 miles, and I was fairly…

You’ll shoot your eye out kid

A father’s need to turn his son into a man and a mother’s need to protect her young are NOT naturally compatible instincts.  Surely you’ve seen the movie “A Christmas Story,” where little Ralphie tells everyone that he wants an official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle… but what did the…

Reunited and it feels so good

The word “reunion” literally means “to bring together again.”  But is there actual unity after the initial re-meeting?  My wife Carol and I just attended our North Central High School reunion in Indianapolis, and I’m still energized from it.  The shared educational experience so many years ago was not really a choice for us back…