I’ll Be Home for Christmas

   There is something about Christmas that calls us back to our roots. I don’t know whether it’s the cold and darkness that causes us to yearn for the companionship of those who know us best or whether it’s merely the atmosphere of tradition that harkens us back to reconnect with the past. Whatever theContinue reading “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

That Old Pioneer Spirit

For hundreds of thousands of years, human kind has taken up more and more space. We’ve spread out of Africa and expanded over mountains and deserts and land bridges and oceans to occupy every continent on Earth. I think that urge to go somewhere new is in all of us. Perhaps that’s why we allContinue reading “That Old Pioneer Spirit”

Breaking All the (Phone and Grocery Store) Rules

I committed a minor fraud today. In the process of buying lunch at a grocery store down the street from work, I entered a phone number on the self checkout’s touchscreen. The number was not my own. For several years now, I’ve seen someone else’s name at the bottom of my receipts. It used toContinue reading “Breaking All the (Phone and Grocery Store) Rules”

Death of a Goldfish

My grandfather’s passing didn’t feel real. My memories of him are vague. I remember him watching TV while sitting on the overstuffed recliner in my parents’ house, remember him shuffling around his little house in Havertown, Pennsylvania on a muggy summer’s day wearing large, dark glasses for his cataracts. I don’t remember going to theContinue reading “Death of a Goldfish”

I’m Just Here for the Cranberry Sauce

Halfway between Flagstaff and Las Vegas and the highway is empty except for a few lonely semis hauling west. I’m racing freight trains across the wide expanses of the American Southwest, thousands of miles from the nearest pilgrim, and I just want to be at my parents’ house. Thanksgiving is one of those holidays thatContinue reading “I’m Just Here for the Cranberry Sauce”

The Sum of Our Genes

Yesterday morning, I was an undergrad; today I am an alumnus of Northern Arizona University. The word itself — alumnus — comes from Latin, and respectable sources inform me that it derives from the verb alere, which literally means “to nourish.” I have been nourished, fed, and not just in my classes. I have beenContinue reading “The Sum of Our Genes”