Wednesday, July 17, 2019


We decided recently that we needed to have Little Goober here for sleepovers more often. We want it to seem routine, and not some kind of banishment, if he needs to come stay here for a few days when his little sister arrives. Usually he's running around like a mad man, hopping from one toy or project to the next, but Sunday morning I realized he had been very quiet for a while. Too quiet. So I got up to check on him, and this is what I found.

The kid had taken all the many Paw Patrol vehicles my friend Paula had passed on to him, and stacked them up one by one, in perfect balance, upon his pirate ship.

When he let Papa add a piece to the tower, it didn't work out so well. He didn't mind. He just started over again.

This time we got to watch the process, as he let each new piece hover in the air over several different spots until something told him "This is it. This is where it belongs."

All I can say is, the kid definitely has an eye for balance!

Monday, July 15, 2019


Pretty much every important life lesson I have learned came, not from my parents or teachers, but rather from books. Not from the books I had to read at school, but from the ones I chose to read on my own. And, if I had to choose the one author who taught me the most, if would surely be Barbara Kingsolver, my very own Aristotle. From politics and parenting to religion, natural science, history, and the production and consumption of food, she's pretty much covered it all. Most importantly, she taught me these lessons, not by saying "you must do this" or "you can't do that", but simply by drawing me into a really good story, sharing many different points of view, then letting me decide what made sense, and what didn't.

With her latest blockbuster, Unsheltered, she knocks it out of the park yet again, and in a most timely manner. She forces one to ask some very hard questions of oneself, such as, what do you do when the world you were born into -- the one they promised would only get better and better, and which you felt entitled to -- turns into something you no longer even recognize? What if you did everything right, just as you were supposed to, but life still turned out wrong? How will you handle it? Will you hide in your little bubble, pretending nothing has changed, or will you figure out how to adapt, and get to it? Is life really about the survival of the fittest?

Thank you, Ms. Kingsolver, for always forcing me to think the hard thoughts, and to become a better person for it.