Pie for Breakfast

We were sitting around the table in Grandmother Musser’s dining room. We had traveled to West Virginia for Thanksgiving, as we had many times before. It was the home place, the place the family gathered, the place where my in-laws had grown up. Since we didn’t want Grandmother to have to cook everything or work … Continue reading Pie for Breakfast

More like the Monks

I’m heading to a holy place. In a few days I will be driving to the knobs of Kentucky, to Nelson County in the heart of bourbon country, to spend some precious time in silence and solitude. For nearly 30 years I have been making an annual pilgrimage to the Abbey of Gethsemani. It started … Continue reading More like the Monks

Political Table Talk

There’s a lot of shouting going on these days. Conversation has turned into contention. ‘Civil discourse’ has become less civil with each election cycle. Here we are a day or two ahead of mid-term elections and from the sounds of the commercials you would think that no one running is worthy of being elected—to hear … Continue reading Political Table Talk

Many Excellent Mistakes

I was a mess. At least, that’s what it felt like to me. I had had high hopes and here I was in the midst of the depths. I had thought I had some of life figured out, but I was struggling to keep my head above water. Breath and a pulse were about the … Continue reading Many Excellent Mistakes

Hester the Great

Thursday afternoon she was lucid. She was tired, but that has been the norm for quite some time now. She was aching some all over. But she knew who she was and where she was and who was with her. She understood that we were talking with a social worker from hospice. She did not … Continue reading Hester the Great

Young Man Stares at Sixty

I had an unusual experience not long ago. My daughter had put in a request to have Irish Beef Stew for supper, and by that we mean real Irish stew made with Guinness Stout. I am not one who buys alcohol on a regular basis. I found the beef, some Dubliner Cheese (I did say … Continue reading Young Man Stares at Sixty

Temporary Structures

We got a new tent in the mail this week. Our old tent had bit the dust after about 20 years of adventures. It had endured much in its time; it had served us well. But it was getting a bit worn—pinprick holes and tiny tears from falling acorns and pine cones and general wear … Continue reading Temporary Structures