Thursday, January 19, 2017

Back-to-school shopping is a piece of cake with my 16-year-old son, Jon. We don't shop. And I love it.

"You just can't imagine what loneliness is," Dad confessed quietly as he eased his way off our deck that has needed new steps since we moved in (has it really been 13 years?).

Yesterday, as I was driving to buy groceries and fill up the gas tank on my car, I couldn't help but notice the bumper sticker on the pick-up truck ahead of me.

I firmly believe that two of the most daunting - albeit well-intentioned - statements in the English language are thus: "When God closes a door, He opens a window" and "God has a plan.

Our family has never felt compelled to do "back to school" shopping like some, but since Kathie's lunch bag from last year is worn and stained, during a weak moment in Wal-Mart, I opted to pick up an insulated hot pink bag and a coordinated water bottle that slides neatly inside.

Anyone who fancies himself a writer always reads and critiques other writers' efforts, sometimes with disdain and sometimes with admiration while saying to himself, "I wish I'd written that.

My son, the country boy, is suddenly a city boy. Plucked from our farm situated near a tiny town, he is now in a city that seems to never sleep.

Every August, about silage chopping time, my mind flits back to a burning question of my youth: Given the old fashioned way we made corn silage on that southern Illinois dairy farm, were we just poor or were we just cheap?

"Down to the cellar, come let us go Where fruit jars like this are lined up in a row Potatoes like this are stacked up in a bin With cabbages so fat and celery so thin.

We Americans are a cheeky lot. We've built this nation on independence, courage and true grit. We're rags to riches, Don't Tread On Me and don't tell us what to do.
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