Monthly Archives: September 2013

You Are What You Settle For

If you don’t know, or don’t follow, Brain Pickings, you’re missing out on some truly interesting, thought-provoking, heart-rending pieces of communication.  Founded by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings describes itself as “a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, a subjective lens on what … Continue reading

Posted in Music, Philosophy | 3 Comments

This Morning, Venturing onto the Patio, into My Mind, and Down Memory Lane

I open the 15-pane door that lets ample light into the house and leads to the back patio, feeling a blanket of warm, humid air as I leave the air-conditioned house and step outside into reality.  The flagstone patio is … Continue reading

Posted in Memoir, Serenity | 2 Comments

Happy Birthday, Mom

Here it is again.  It came so quickly; could it possibly be a year since I last gave my mom flowers in remembrance of her birthday?  Yes, today would have been my mom’s birthday. And again I pause to remember … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Memories | 5 Comments

Doing Without: A Meat-Free October

September is winding down.  If I choose, I can celebrate on October 1 with a stiff drink or a beer, but I’m beginning to think I should stick with September’s commitment to doing without alcohol.  At the very least, I should … Continue reading

Posted in Doing Without, Food, Self-discipline | 5 Comments


After lunch at Casa Vieja on Sunday, we wandered around the little town of Whitewright, wondering what life must be like in this little time-worn village. There were obvious signs of efforts to revitalize the tiny downtown; Casa Vieja was one … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Moving | 2 Comments

I could not bear to know what I knew about me, so I became someone else.

“I could not bear to know what I knew about me, so I became someone else.” That’s a line from a short story I once wrote…well, a short story I began to write. Initially, I was particularly satisfied with the … Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy | Leave a comment

My Little Black Book

A couple of years ago, during a visit to the Boston area to spend time with my wife’s sister, we stopped by a branch library in the heart of the downtown area.  A book sale was in progress; I guess … Continue reading

Posted in Books | 1 Comment

Blood on Marble

Exercising…just fictional muscles.   Blood dripping onto a marble floor has a unique sound.  The noise is lighter and has a gentler sensation than water.  Drops of water “thud” flatly when they hit the floor; blood has more of a … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction | Leave a comment

Old Notes

I make notes to myself.  In the days before I had an iPhone, I’d write the notes in little 3×5″ spiral-bound notebooks I kept in my pocket. I rarely carry those little notebooks anymore; not because I prefer the iPhone … Continue reading

Posted in Memories | 1 Comment


Old couples hold hands as they walk slowly down the quiet grey beach, shrouded in mist. They disappear into the fog, two by two. Their lives are strands of copper wire, flexing and bending until there’s nothing left to yield, no … Continue reading

Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment

Ridin’ the Rails

We’re contemplating another long trip, this time by train. I say “we,” but the contemplation is mostly mine; my wife is indulging my dreamery and allowing as to how she would be OK with the trip if I take care … Continue reading

Posted in Friendship, Travel | 2 Comments

So Many Places with Potential…

My recently renewed enthusiasm about third places (see this, this, this, and this) has led me to do more research about “great good places.” That research has opened my eyes to my myopia about places I’ve lived, places I’ve long since … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Demographics, Essay, Housiing, Third Place, Urban planning | Leave a comment

Building Community, One Third Place at a Time

Yesterday, I went to a nearby branch of the Dallas Public Library to pick up a book I’d requested, Celebrating the Third  Place: Inspiring Stories about the “Great Good Places” at the Heart of Our Communities. I haven’t finished the … Continue reading

Posted in Third Place | Leave a comment

The Death of Libraries

Many of us take libraries for granted.  We think they always will be there.  Always.  Whether we frequent them or not, whether we support them or not, whether we defend them or not, libraries always will be there. Would that … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Libraries, Third Place | 4 Comments

Doing Without Alcohol: Alternative Addictions?

My perception of my year of doing without is changing.  My casual experiment is having unexpected results.  I’m thinking of things I didn’t allow myself to think before I started this. This is my month for doing without alcohol.  Iced … Continue reading

Posted in Doing Without, Self-discipline | 6 Comments

Columbus, IN…Who Knew?

Some knew.  I did not.  I had no idea.  Because I was uniformed.  Uneducated.  I was the poster boy for architectural ignorance.  Now, I’m on my way to enlightenment.  The first step, they say, is to recognize the problem.  My … Continue reading

Posted in Architecture, Art | Leave a comment

Finding Places–Ohio and Beyond

We started the trip on Tuesday, August 27, around 11:30 a.m.  We had planned to start it Monday (and before Monday, Sunday and Saturday and the week before…but never mind), but decided for a variety of reasons that we should … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Family, Food, Racism, Regret, Travel | 2 Comments

On the Road

After four nights being hosted by my nephew and his lovely wife, we’re about to hit the road again. We may drift east or north, we may turn back toward home, taking a more westerly route.  Only after getting in … Continue reading

Posted in Travel | Leave a comment

Doing Without: First Success

The month of August has passed and so has my first successful month of doing without. I gave up coffee for the entire month with no difficulty.  Today, I began September with a treat: a cup of very nice, rich, … Continue reading

Posted in Doing Without, Self-discipline | 6 Comments