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Time’s up for dad, who is cuckoo for grandfather’s clock

Family Man

My 16-year-old son is like me. He’s half me. Half Italian. We Italians are a passionate, sentimental, nostalgic people. So he understood that holding on to that grandfather clock wasn’t hoarding. That was my family’s clock! Handed down to me! But my wife didn’t like it—too big and it didn’t match the decor. “I’m not gettin’ rid of that clock,” […]

Don’t let Mom Nature ruin a mini-getaway

Flying Squirrel

Summer vacation season is still six to eight months away, so unless you enjoy a spring break of some sort, “time off” likely to be limited to the standard weekend break. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative with your downtime. With some thoughtful planning, even a regular weekend can feel like a mini vacation. I recently visited Santa […]

Seniors: Consider a ‘new you’ plan for 2020

Other Side of 50

What will 2020 look like for you? That answer is likely to be different for everyone, but there are a few things most older adults will have in common. For example, if Social Security is your primary source of income, you may want to think about tightening your belt a little. In 2020, seniors will be getting a 1.6% increase […]

Archangel Raphael: leading the way to joy and healing

Roots of Faith

The walk of faith is easier with a guide. Archangel Raphael is the subject of our fourth and final article on angels. His only appearance by name is in the book of Tobit, which is found in Catholic and Orthodox Bibles. Raphael describes himself as “one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord” […]

Holiday ornament drops out of the sky

On the Trail

On a rather tight budget this holiday season, I’d been scrounging around thrift shops and dollar stores in search of unique, nature themed ornaments. Nothing too interesting turned up until something fell down, whap, right out of the sky smack onto my unsuspecting head. Fortunately, it was a cold day and I had my “Fargo” hat on—you know the type, […]

Holiday dinner is a dish best served cold

Family Man

“Come Christmas dinner, I’m not washing or drying one dish. I’m not even clearing my own plate.” “But, Dad, you always told me we have to help. Or at least we have to offer to help.” “Son, you’re absolutely right. We should offer to help, even though they didn’t lift one stingy finger when we hosted Thanksgiving dinner.” “But they […]

Rudolph: showing how our weaknesses become our strengths

Roots of Faith

One of the seasonal traditions in many homes is watching the Rankin Bass animated holiday specials on TV. The charming shows began in 1964 with “Rudolph, the Red- Nosed Reindeer.” Nowadays, we might call the young reindeer differently abled. But in the 1960s he was handicapped by a nose that glowed bright red, often at the wrong times. The elves […]

Difference between being alone and lonely

Other Side of 50

Recently, my coworkers and I have begun to see a spike in the number of seniors in our community who go days on end without human contact. Yet when asked if they’re lonely, they say no. These individuals are quite content with their daily schedule. In many cases, they’re proud of their independence—even if it means a lack of socialization […]

First-class feast in an economy seat

Flying Squirrel

It’s the holiday season, which means many of us will be doing one of our least favorite things. No, I’m not talking about sitting down for dinner with our opinionated relatives. Hopefully seeing your family is the enjoyable part of the season. What we don’t like is traveling to our destination—specifically, flying. When I was growing up, air travel was […]

Reaching for new heights can make SAD sufferers feel glad

On the Trail


Around this time of year a condition nicknamed “SAD” often upends the well-being of sensitive souls. For some of us, myself included, seasonal affective disorder may be triggered by having to surrender the bountiful light and warmth of summer days. Each fall I fall prey to this blues-inducing syndrome. This year, I’ve discovered something that gives my spirits a boost, […]


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