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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Sermon of the Aspens

I like to term myself “religious but not spiritual.” I enjoy the trappings and rituals of church: the hymns, taking communion, post-service cookies (especially the cookies).

I Know All About You

Which poison: a lifetime spent seeing flashy landmarks, never staying put, or a lifetime getting lost in one place?

Shut Up and Learn Something, Stupid!

With this skewed perspective, it’s almost impossible to disassociate Calvin’s intended view of vocation, and our idea of vocation in relation to our career.

The Butterfly Effect

Not only did this miscreant have the gall to stop far too distant from the proper spot, he had the utter audacity to hesitate and linger when the blessed green light at last showered itself onto us lowly plebeians.

A Thin Place

I sank my water bottle into nature’s LaCroix, took a sip, offered some to Gwyn.

One Piece at a Time Vol. II: How to Lose a Dishwasher in 10 Weeks

Like a tube of toothpaste gettin’ squeezed out,
The rest of that dishwasher slowly eased out

Hush, Little Bird

Hush, Little Bird

by | Jul 25, 2018

Her voice was not strong. But it was powerful in softness, clear in tone. After dozens of services hearing her struggle with melody, she sang in perfect harmony.

Changing the World 101

Changing the World 101

Simply begin at Blog Post #1, in which I make a rudimentary, over-simplified attempt at the “can’t we all just get along?” argument that would become a recurring theme in my work over the years.

Rising to the Occasion

Rising to the Occasion

Then we heard an all-too-familiar sound―a jolt and an internal groan as the bus gasped for breath. We all responded in cartoon-like unison.

Blueberry Season

Blueberry Season

We receive a hearty “Welcome, hullo! Glad you’re here!” from the blueberry man, who is sitting in a plastic patio chair next to an old truck filled with boxes and buckets.

My Only Comfort

My Only Comfort

Now that my grandma has died, though, I feel almost embarrassed when people comfort me. I find myself dodging and deflecting each earnest, brow-furrowed condolence with chipper sound bytes: “It was a mercy at this point.” “It was a long time coming.” “I actually had a great time with my family. It was so fun to see my cousins from out of town!” I refuse to play into the cliché.

The Perfect Cure for Your Handmaid’s Tale Hangover

The Perfect Cure for Your Handmaid’s Tale Hangover

The fullness of the characters’ lives and the variety of their responses to such ruthless adversity forced me to think of the victims of history as more than what their oppressors made them.

Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

For a long time, my reading habits resembled a Michael Pollan polemic, if Michael Pollan had been trying to cure the Western diet with genre fiction instead of carrots: Read fantasy. Not much else. Mostly Tolkien.

Club Keno and Graphs

Club Keno and Graphs

A while ago my friend Ryan won three games of Club Keno in a row.

What Love Looks Like

What Love Looks Like

I’m not always good at saying what I mean to say, so here: Mom likes to tell me how you could soothe my crying as a baby by carrying me around the house, pointing out people in picture frames, and telling me stories about them.

Jack

Jack

As if knowing he was a caricature of a human, Grandpa Jack did most if not all of these things with a pipe in his mouth.

Ice Cream: A Comprehensive Guide

Ice Cream: A Comprehensive Guide

When going out for ice cream, getting an exemplary hard serve cone should be your primary goal.

Spend It Now

Spend It Now

This was not a lesson I knew as a kid. I wanted to save everything good for later. I ate all the cereal bits out of Lucky Charms and the raisins out of trail mix, leaving huge mouthfuls of marshmallows and M&Ms behind.

Mary, A Story about Freedom

Mary, A Story about Freedom

We worked side-by-side for two hours, me snatching glances to see how a septuagenarian was keeping up with me and her admitting I was “quite a worker!”

Meal With Five Strangers

Meal With Five Strangers

I am the fifth stranger here, and perhaps the strangest of them all. I am passing through this place. This will be my only night in the city, and then I will be gone.

Next Chapter

Next Chapter

This was where I came of age. I was born in Boston, grew up in Lexington, and came of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Goodnight, Goodbye

Goodnight, Goodbye

I’m hopeful about the future. I’ve been trying to learn from my mistakes and grow as a person. To be more dependable. To be more forgiving. To love more.

Chinese Takeout

Chinese Takeout

In that apartment, we started with four and ended with two because Eliza got married which is a good thing and we love her wife but it’s still kind of sad because we love her too, you know?

Bury Me Naked

Bury Me Naked

When I die, bury me naked. Or burn me. I’ll leave the choice between casket or urn to my loved ones, so long as they keep clothing out of it.

City Mouse, Country Mouse

City Mouse, Country Mouse

It’s a kitsch I find myself unexpectedly into. I try to keep up with the quick footwork at square dances, I voluntarily turn the radio dial to the country music station, I pronounce the names of nearby towns like the locals do.

A Grumpy Midwestern Feminist’s Dream Wedding

A Grumpy Midwestern Feminist’s Dream Wedding

I’ve caught a bit of wedding fever. I talk a good game about not getting caught up in that sort of thing, but truthfully, that is a hot load of shit. I frickin’ love weddings.

The Joy of Pomegranates

The Joy of Pomegranates

I had opened up the pomegranates in the first place for the deep red, and dropped the sparkling contents onto a bed of mango and blueberries and lime.

Now Entering Grant County, Indiana

Now Entering Grant County, Indiana

It can exist in its difficulty without any dressing up and still be deserving of love.

What Would Just Immigration Policy Look Like?

What Would Just Immigration Policy Look Like?

The solution to undocumented labor is not the deportation of laborers—it is their documentation.