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INDEPENDENTLY SPEAKING

Writer, Public Speaker, Writing Instructor

 

October 23, 2020

I’m in so much trouble.

My usual plan when I do something dumb is to first explain that it’s not my fault. If that doesn’t work, I generally try to make up a big lie. Both solid strategies, but not foolproof.

At least, this fool can’t always make them work.

I think I’m go...

October 16, 2020

There’re times when blessings rain down like, you know, rain.

Our youngest daughter was married last Saturday.

Here on the farm.

Outside.

On October 10.

Have I ever mentioned we live in the place with the worst weather in the world?

When I learned of the proposed wedding dat...

October 9, 2020

I got nothin’.

It’s Monday morning. In less than 24 hours, 600 words arranged in complete sentences need to be sent off to various editors. When I got up this morning, I did the math and figured I’ve been in this situation roughly 1362 times. I’m sure I’ll be able to co...

October 2, 2020

“Papa,” Number Five said, “we need to make a fire thing.”

He put his hand on my shoulder and looked intently into my eyes.

“What do you mean, a fire thing?” I asked. I wasn’t about to commit to anything without a few more details.

“You know,” he said, “a round thing, made...

September 25, 2020

I broke the gosh darn window.

That isn’t exactly what I said at the time, but you get the idea. I said a few additional things when I found out that fixing two seconds of impatience would cost me $350.00.

But, hey, silver lining.

I realize I’ve been writing a lot about ho...

September 18, 2020

I now have nine jars of very thick, very sweet grape juice.

I’ve always kind of believed the old, “when life gives you lemons make lemonade,” thing. But I don’t know what the hell to do with this stuff.

I was shooting for grape jelly. Sadly, as is often the case when I s...

September 11, 2020

I’ve never had a cool nickname.

I’m not saying I’ve never had a nickname. As far as I know, I haven’t, and at this point in my life, if there’s a nickname out there I’ve been unaware of for the last half century, I’m guessing I don’t want to know.

Seriously. If my friend...

September 4, 2020

I can stop wishing for a tornado.

We painted our farm buildings.

Let me explain. 

For a hundred years or so, this was a real farm, with half a dozen different barns and buildings scattered around the grounds, most of which I built or helped build. Over time, they all got...

August 28, 2020

“I love this place,” I said. “It’s just so…science-y.”

I was with Granddaughter One, killing time on a weekend and trying to be responsible about the whole physical distancing thing, so we were walking around the gardens and grounds of the West Central Research and Outr...

August 21, 2020

I’m perched on a worn wooden deck, high above a northern Minnesota lake. A gaggle of grandchildren are splashing in crystal clear water that I think is way too cold, but the kids don’t seem to mind. I’ve spent most of my life seeing cold and wet as something to be avoi...

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