Travel

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice The 4th of July is the big bang of summer, but late June is when the longest day of the year happens.  Summer solstice was June 21 and we’ve started the slow tilt away from the sun.  It’s hard to imagine because summer’s just begun, but it’s literally the beginning of the end….

Travel

Feta Cheese Lady

Feta Cheese Lady People tend to fall into one of two buckets.  Either you’re looking for what you have in common with someone or you’re looking for how you’re different from someone.  I’ve had a few conversations over the last month with people who I have a lot in common with who are completely different…

Travel

A Quick Hike Along the Niagara River

A Quick Hike Along the Niagara River Niagara Falls rightly gets most of the attention from visitors to this corner of New York.   The Niagara Falls State Park is the oldest state park in the United States and looking around I’m grateful for those who preserved this area from souvenir shops, off track betting,…

Travel

Rust in the Water

Rust in the Water In general we take the supply of water for granted in the northeast corner of North America.  There’s usually enough precipitation in rain and snow coming through this region to refill the aquifers, rivers and reservoirs that supply our drinking water.  This month we’re running a bit dry, according to the…

Lifestyle

Father’s Day Reflections

When I think about Father’s Day I think about the Father’s Day I spent spreading crushed stone as a base for our brick patio on a hot and humid day a dozen years ago.  Spreading crushed stone with a rake and shovel is soul-crushing work, and I was miserable.  At moments like that I usually…

Travel

Connecticut Capital Building

Connecticut Capital Building If Hartford, Connecticut is a mix of gritty neighborhoods and gleaming insurance headquarters today, in the late 1800’s it was considered a model city.  Mansions popped up in the Nook Farm area, which rivaled Concord, Massachusetts with the number of artists and writers who clustered in that area.  Insurance companies were also…

Travel

Winning the Lottery

Winning the Lottery In 1933 an influenza outbreak spread across the world.  While it wasn’t considered a pandemic, it represented a significant spike in influenza-related deaths that hasn’t been equalled since.  The 1933 outbreak hits home for me; I’m told that my grandfather’s first wife, father-in-law and infant daughter Paula all died in this influenza…

Travel

Experience with Emerson

Experience with Emerson “Life is not intellectual or critical, but sturdy.  Its chief good is for well-mixed people who can enjoy what they find, without question…  To fill the hour, – that is happiness, to fill the hour and leave no crevice for a repentance or an approval.  We live on surfaces, and the true…

Lifestyle

Bluebirds

Bluebirds I have a pair of bluebirds nesting in my backyard.  This isn’t an accident – I’d decided earlier this year to put up both a feeder and a birdhouse to give them a place to eat and to nest without competition from other birds.  I spent a few minutes outside sitting quietly in between…