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When my neighbor Roy was placed into an emergency vehicle Thursday for transport to the ER, I went to console his partner, who assured me Roy’s condition was not life threatening but required some medical treatment.  We then discussed that, in our neck of the woods, if your loved one goes to the hospital, your ability to be close to them is strictly limited to sitting in your car in the parking lot.  This is a disconcerting situation.  My prior ER experiences allowed me to be present with my loved one, hold their hand and hear the words of the medical team as well as be...

When I wrote about the birds nesting above my front door, there was polite doubt expressed about them being some kind of swallow.  The white eggs (not included in the Connector story), for one, did not fit.  Based on others observations and reading and listening, I now believe they were Phoebes.  The telltale sign was their “Pee Wee” calls.  In early July the chicks began venturing out, perching on the edge of the transom window and the edge of the nest.   I leave and enter the house perhaps 20 times a day.  It befuddled me why a bird would build a nest where it would be...

Marriage rests upon the immutable givens that compose it: words, bodies, characters, histories, places. Some wishes cannot succeed; some victories cannot be won; some loneliness is incorrigible. But there is relief and freedom in knowing what is real; these givens come to us out of the perennial reality of the world, like the terrain we live on. One does not care for this ground to make it a different place, but to make it habitable and to make it better.

— Wendell Berry, “Standing by Words” 

These are some of the words I pass along to couples with whom I do pre-...

I'm grateful for summertime.   I look forward to an annual visit to the shores of Lake Superior for time to sit and watch the setting sun across the water.  Attached I am sharing a picture of the lovely pebbled shore as the sun sets on the horizon. These shores have been a great experience for more than 20 years.

 

We have more family history records on my Mom’s side than my Dad’s.  The internet has helped minimize the difference.   Dad was born in southeast Ohio, the last of four children of an older couple from West Virginia.  Most of his extended family (and his dad was one of the younger children in a larger family) lived in the Mountain State.

So when the internet presented records of a Confederate Army soldier in our line, I was startled and a bit offended momentarily.  Until I re-realized that “West Virginia” didn’t exist before the Civil War. ...

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