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INDEPENDENTLY SPEAKING

Writer, Public Speaker, Writing Instructor

 

January 24, 2020

I am a remarkable man.

During last Friday’s blizzard, I hit myself in the face. With a garden spade.

Not everyone could do that.

Here’s the story. One of my outbuildings has a bifold door that we made ourselves. It doesn’t have an automatic opener – just a counterweight t...

January 17, 2020

I had a bad toothache last week and it made me think of Ulysses S. Grant.

Like it does.

My tooth started to ache a little just before Christmas. I tried to ignore it, because it was Christmas and then New Year’s, and, you know, it’s pretty easy to avoid going to the dent...

January 10, 2020

I was in the middle of an embarrassing situation last week, and I wasn’t the one embarrassed.

Man, that felt good.

I was headed to a meeting about 80 miles from home and stopped for a cup of coffee. I spend a lot of time on the road and I keep track of the places to get...

January 3, 2020

I might have discovered the secret of the universe.

Or maybe my sister did.

Here goes.

One of my sisters has lived most of her life in France, due to falling in love with a Frenchman. While this has been a blessing for all of us, the differences in culture have caused som...

December 27, 2019

I stopped at our local convenience store to fill my pickup with gas. I was standing at the till when a friend of mine came in, looked me up and down and said, “Brent, I like your style.”

The woman at the till looked surprised and said, “Brent has a style?”

Some people wo...

December 20, 2019

Last week in a store, my bill came to $19.32. I said to the clerk, “Wow, that wasn’t a good year.”

He said, “Yeah, I have no idea. I wasn’t born until 1966.”

Okay, first of all, I need to ask, do I LOOK like I remember 1932?

There’s nothing the matter with being 90. I kno...

December 13, 2019

I was watching my oldest granddaughter play basketball. I’m very proud of all of my grandchildren, but they’re all individuals, with their own talents and interests. We spend a lot of time bouncing between T-ball games, gymnastics events, theatre productions and too ma...

December 6, 2019

Last week I got new tires on my pickup, and on the way home, stopped to fill it with gas.

If my wife had been able to clear her schedule, we might be halfway to Patagonia now.

There’s just something about the potential of a full tank of gas that always makes me ready to...

November 27, 2019

I read an article in the New York Times about the Zen of weight lifting.

I don’t know much about either of those topics.

The article started with a description of the author’s favorite exercise. He picks up two heavy weights and basically just walks around with them for...

November 22, 2019

I’m tearing down my great-grandfather’s barn.

It’s not easy.

I mean that in so many ways.

The barn’s been standing for 122 years. When it was built, a damp pasture spread out to the east – too wet to farm, but good enough for growing grass. Up until a few years ago, some...

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