Celebrity Encounters

Growing up in Kokomo, Indiana, I didn’t expect to run into many celebrities. We lived in a small town in a Midwestern state, and the most famous person I knew was Mr. Kinkaid, the 5th grade teacher who showed up on Bowling for Dollars in his red turtleneck. I think he bowled a gutter ball. […]

Big Head

Childhood nicknames come in all flavors. Some are shortened versions of first or last names. Some are based on events or stories that turn into long-term monikers. Still others are based on physical attributes, like hair color or pre-braces dental work. As a kid, I was in the latter group, and got stuck with a […]

Bite Your Tongue

I led a somewhat adventuresome (and accident prone) life as a kid. I ran my arm through a wringer washer, fell out of more than a couple trees, and even got hit by a car. Fortunately, we had good insurance, because I was a frequent presence in the local hospital emergency room. One hot summer […]

Seat of Learning

Teaching can be one of the hardest jobs in the world…and it’s hard because of the students. Take 30 kids with lots of energy and put them in the classroom, and you’re going to get lots of activity, but not necessarily any education. I’m always impressed when a teacher can capture and hold the attention […]

Minor League

In Indiana, once the state basketball tournament is over, there’s a point where folks realize that Spring is on the way. Farmers start plowing their fields, flowers start to poke their head above ground, and Little League baseball tryouts get under way. In the Midwest, baseball is a big deal for a lot of people, […]

Tornado Alley

Part of growing up in Indiana is dealing with the unpredictable weather. There’s a saying that goes, “If you don’t like the weather, stick around for 5 minutes….It’ll change.” We’d have snow as early as Halloween, or as late as April, and sometimes have 4 seasons in one day. I got used to the unpredictable […]

Spring Cleaning

I’ve never been the neatest person, but I don’t mind cleaning. It’s nice to see a space improve as you get rid of clutter and wipe down counters. When you get done, the end result always gives a sense of satisfaction and pride. When I was a kid, though, ‘cleaning house’ took on a whole […]

Oh! Canada.

Growing up, we didn’t go on a lot of family vacations. Sure, we did the occasional day trip to a museum, amusement park, or baseball game, but other than a week spent down at ‘church camp, our summers tended to consist of riding bikes to the park, going to my brother’s baseball games, or weekend […]

Good Dog

Despite having lived with 8 dogs and an indeterminate number of cats (along with a rabbit and even a box turtle), I have never had a dog that was ‘mine.’ I’ve picked out pets for family members, sure, and I’ve taken care of likely two dozen animals in my lifetime, but I’ve never chosen a […]

Model Citizen

Unlike a lot of kids, I loved school. I liked getting on the bus, listening to the music on the bus driver’s AM radio, getting to school and running to class. I liked the hot lunches they’d wheel to our classrooms on carts, and always looked forward to recess…as well as coming back from recess. […]