September 2016

5 articles in September 2016

Autumn is part of an integral cycle. This is the time we have to pull up the plants we cherished, fed, and protected during the last five months of the year. During the summer months we were proud of how strong our plants looked. We waited patiently for their fruit to ripen so we could fill our family’s tables with delicious vegetables and sweet-scented flowers. Like everything in everyone’s life all things change and nothing stays the same. In other words, everything is mortal.

Walking into my garden, I am saddened to see my tomato plants turn black with brownish green tomatoes left on dying stems. When the tomatoes were in full bloom you couldn’t see the cage through the thick foliage of green leaves and ripened tomatoes. In fact, throughout the entire summer I had to add miles of twine in order to keep my once giant tomato plants from falling to the ground. This of course made the task of cleaning up this part of my garden more difficult, because I had to separate the plants from the cages and then from the twine.

After I pulled the main part of the tomato plant away from the cages I accidentally knocked my glasses from my head and proceeded to step on them in the muck of mud and crushed tomatoes. Looking down at them and seeing they no longer looked like glasses I decided to leave them in the garden over the winter. Who knows maybe I’ll grow an eye-glass plant. Continue Reading →

“An unexpected relationship will become permanent.”

Tthe message from inside the fortune cookie stared me in the face and I stared back, first at the broken cookie then at the scroll-type message within, and finally at the man seated opposite me on the table. Was it an omen, a premonition, or a warning for what lay ahead?

There were so many thoughts cramped up in my head in that instant of a second, that I was truly able to appreciate Bill Gates’ phrase “at the speed of thought”. It was the first time that we were out together and he looked terribly handsome as he sat there chuckling at what his fortune cookie said, completely oblivious to my state of mind at the time.

I’ve always been a superstitious person. I have a lucky pen, a money plant that I never dare to neglect, and a set routine that I never defer from, but treating a fortune cookie as a message from God was a bit much, even for me. For the moment I relegated the incident to the back of my mind and joined in his laughter.

As we sat in his car in the parking lot, just below my apartment, we chatted easily, neither of us wanting to break the momentum of a lovely evening by saying goodbye. I had the urge to lean over and kiss him on his cheek. I had the urge, but not the nerve. For all technical reasons, it was not a date. We were just two friends, out to dinner and I had no intention of spoiling that.

By the next afternoon, I knew I was falling in love, because I had completely lost my appetite and my interest in anyone or anything else. It had certainly been unexpected. Yet it was neither a relationship, nor did it have any chance of becoming permanent. What struck me with a jolt was that I wanted it to be. Continue Reading →

Iit was the first part of December and the frozen ground was covered with snow. My little girl said to me, ‘Daddy can we have that tree we saw on our hike through the woods last summer, for our Christmas tree?

My little girl had a bad accident in the autumn and the doctors had said that she would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Wanting to do all I could to please my precious child, I began getting things ready to do my chores, in order to get an early start next morning. I forked some hay into a pile to feed the cows and horses, I also set a bucket aside with some grain in it, to feed it to my saddle-horse. I then filled a pan with slop, to feed the pigs. This was all so that I could go and look for the tree that my daughter wanted.

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Fifteen years just isn’t enough. Today we live in a nation that has the possibility of having a President Trump or Clinton. Working through my first six decades our political and social atmosphere is now undermined by partisan policies.

I believe this is all in response to when our nation was changed fifteen years ago on what was a normal September in a normal time of our nation’s history. I still remember that day in my class with my students; that day when all of our histories changed, that day I spend most of my life trying to not only understand, but to also believe. This is article did appear fifteen years ago. I believe it has more relevance today.

I just couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t express what I was feeling in words. I knew everyone of those people who were condemned to die. I didn’t know their faces or their names but I knew them all. They were husbands and wives of families working to make the people they were responsible for safe and comfortable.

They were the children of families whose hard work and perseverance made their families proud. They were the grandparents who were almost ready to live out their lives doing something they had dreamed they could do. Continue Reading →

Tthere is a child I used to know who sat,
perhaps, at this same desk where you sit now,
and made a mess of things sometimes.
I wonder how he learned at all . . .

He saw T-Rexes down the hall
and dreamed of trains and cars and wrecks.
He dribbled phantom basketballs,
shot spitwads at his schoolmates’ necks.

He played with pasty Elmer’s glue
(and sometimes got the glue on you!).
He earned the nickname–’teacher’s PEST.’
His mother had to come to school
because he broke the golden rule.
He dreaded each and every test.

Continue Reading →