Scarlet Robes and Sandra’s Crayons

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.

Will Rogers

Have you ever heard of The Diderot Effect? The principle is named after the French philosopher, Denis Diderot, who, until 1765, lived his life in poverty. In order to provide a dowry for his daughter Diderot sold his library for a significant sum to Catherine the Great of Russia. He used a small portion of
Continue reading “Scarlet Robes and Sandra’s Crayons”

Days of Our Lives

Our lives are but specks of dust falling through the fingers of time. Like sands of the hourglass, so are the days of our lives. — Socrates

While some may not realize it, the words of Socrates have, for the last half century century, been used as the introduction to a daytime soap opera. No disrespect intended, but the poor man must be rolling in his grave.  He’s been credited with articulating the fundamentals of Continue reading “Days of Our Lives”

Slack Tide

There’s a moment sailors call slack tide. When the tide is neither coming in nor going out, and the water is perfectly still. It’s a moment frozen in time, when all is calm and peaceful. The only downside to it is that it passes so quickly. As much as we might like things to be suspended in time, they never are.

Mariners and fishermen have more detailed and scientific explanations of slack tides, but the version I learned as child is the one I’ve internalized and refuse to release. I must admit the south side of Chicago and spring smelt runs are unlikely places to learn about tides and slack water, but that’s where I first heard of them. I thought of slack tides today while walking through Old Town, Florence. Like many others, I’m pulled like iron to a magnet by the strength and serenity of water and Continue reading “Slack Tide”

What If the Sky Was Falling?

Remember Chicken Little? “Help! Help! The sky is falling! We’re running for our lives!” While the sky isn’t falling, at least not yet, it’s been a banner year for natural disasters and the recent 7.1 earthquake in California was a reminder of the need for disaster readiness. Most of us pay credence to the need for a day after or day of plan, but, for whatever reason, not everyone has that plan in place. So, what exactly should we do in an emergency?

First things first. In any emergency, take a deep breath, calm yourself as best you can, then check for danger and assess the damage before moving on. If you’re the only one affected call 911, but if there appears to be widespread damage, it’s time to fall back on your emergency plans and the services that are available in your area. Your plan Continue reading “What If the Sky Was Falling?”

The Night the Sky Rained Stars

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. We remain a young nation, but …. the time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.” – Barack Obama Continue reading “The Night the Sky Rained Stars”

A Few (More) Good Men

The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

– Peter Drucker

I’m not a hostage but these days I feel like one. My hands feel tied, bound by the twin leeches of belief and expectation. There was a time when the institutions created to serve us  actually did just that and the men who administered them were  admired. There was also a time, I’ll admit to being very young, when I thought lawyers were more Continue reading “A Few (More) Good Men”

The Sound of Wind and Water

Within each of us there is a silence—a silence as vast as a universe. We are afraid of it … and we long for it.

Gunilla Norris – In Inviting Silence

There are days when the sounds of civilization overwhelm us and our tired brains seek silence. Release comes easily to some, but for others the trinity of must, could and should floods their brains, constantly repeating, like a refrain caught in the groove of a damaged record. It is hard enough to block external noise, but inner silence is, for some, becoming an increasingly elusive commodity. While some find it through exercise or meditation, I was first able to achieve it in places where the gentle sound of wind and water lulled me to a state of Continue reading “The Sound of Wind and Water”


Be still. Remember my name. It is the label that is attached to me. It is the one thread that is sewn through this entire story. Your story or my story – it is only the stitching that changes. The want is the thing that drives us. Trust me: I have a story to tell.― Richard Payment, For Want of Wonders

Prior to his birth, lots of time was spent guessing what the newest addition to the British royal family would be called. Now we know. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have named their infant son Archie. The name is currently popular in Britain but as soon as I heard it memories of the Riverdale gang came to mind. Some of you will remember the teenage superheroes Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead. Comic books were the rage in the days before Netflix, and those of us who were not allowed to have them found friends who stashed and shared
Continue reading “Archie?”

Remembering Hannah

Memorial Day isn’t just about honoring veterans, its honoring those who lost their lives. Veterans had the fortune of coming home. For us, that’s a reminder of when we come home we still have a responsibility to serve. It’s a continuation of service that honors our country and those who fell defending it.

Pete Hegseth

Several years ago Bob and I traveled through Southeast Asia with some remarkable people. Many of them had military backgrounds and had served in Vietnam. The testosterone levels in the group were fairly high and there was polite jostling among the men see whose exploits and memories would carry the day. Tucked in our group was a woman, about my age, who had a passion for textiles and weaving. She was Continue reading “Remembering Hannah”

Good Enough?

Good Enough

My son, beware of “good enough,”
It isn’t made of sterling stuff;
It’s something any man can do,
It marks the many from the few,
It has no merit to the eye,
It’s something any man can buy,
It’s name is but a sham and bluff,
For it is never “good enough.”

With “good enough” the shirkers stop
In every factory and shop;
With “good enough” the failures rest
And lose to men who give their best;
With “good enough” the car breaks down
And men fall short of high renown.
My son, remember and be wise,
In “good enough” disaster lies.

With “good enough” have ships been wrecked, Continue reading “Good Enough?”

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