Category: Essay

  • On Obits

    A friend sent an obit that appeared in the Door County Advocate for one Lilly Velk. I did not know Ms. Lilly; still my friend thought I’d like the obit.

  • Air Miles and Carbon Credits

    Ingrid Burke of the University of Wyoming in a letter to the Academy of Science offered this lament, “I recently returned from the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America … This year’s conference subject was ‘Global Warming: The legacy of our past, the challenge for our future.

  • Evening Milking: Visions of Life on the Family Farm

    A farm kid comes of age by an alternate route than does the average kid. I remember classroom discussions about home chores, how urban kids described their chores: take out the garbage, mow the lawn, sweep the garage, vacuum the rug.

  • 3.14.15 Is Pie Day

    March fourteenth, two thousand fifteen is pie day … an apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry, anything to make us all merry. March 14, 2015 expressed as 3.1415 is pi, or π.

  • Democracy

    The source is late night BBC, not that listening to the radio is any cure for sleeplessness; it is a companion. They were discussing democracy and what constitutes the signals, the signs and the effects of democracy.

  • The Mask of Christmas

    Modern children have it easy at Christmas. The modern version of Santa arrives as that jolly old soul, cherry cheeks, robust laugh, nothing sinister or hungry.

  • My Grandfather’s Journal

    My grandfather tended a daily journal the same as he tended his evening kye, his plow, his morning fire. I have his collection of journals (they were called “daily journals” because that is what journals were supposed to tend).

  • The Joy of Cooking Chemistry

    My mama, as her mama, had certain folk attachments when it came to cooking and kitchen sayings. Potatoes ought not be boiled in a copper pan. Cutting the throats of chickens as practiced by slaughterhouses, leaves an after-taste but chopping the heads off does not.

  • When I Am Old

    When I am old I shall wear my shirts inside out, I shall wear my ties backward, my hat upside down, I will put my socks on after my shoes, I will eat dessert first.

  • The Book

    How writers come to be I’m not sure we know. To wonder if in the age of Google and Kindle the sense of book that has been with us for the last 500 years is about to be eclipsed.

  • Drone Strike

    About drones? I’m glad you asked. 1956, the year when the Rattlesnake Patrol of the Boy Scouts of America got involved with drones. Honest, it wasn’t our fault.

  • Premium

    The boast of premium is on everything we buy. Premium says my recent package of brake pads. Premium says the six pack of beer. My work shoes it seems were made of premium leather by premium Chinese workers.

  • Defining Human

    Yutu…the Chinese word…references a thousand-year old folk tale of a rabbit who went to the moon via a magic chariot. Seems it isn’t only farmers who name their cows, their fields, their pickup trucks and tractors.

  • Porch Noise

    I am an undiluted fan of porch noise, not to misuse here the word music. Once the porch was considered a major home appliance the same as the washing machine.

  • Two-Holers

    During the Winter Olympics in Russia a story floated around the web detailing with some mirth a double-stall toilet at the Olympic site. Including the comment that the off-hand user had to reach across the neighboring toilet to access the paper spool.

  • The Yarnell Hill Fire

    There are things that happen to which you must respond. You have no choice. They will not let you rest until you write. Something. And so you sit at the keyboard and begin.

  • June, The Moon of Weeds

    June, the month, should be renamed “Weed” to better understand its place in the realm of the farm summer. According to farm cosmology weeds come in two forms: noxious and evil.

  • On Overlanding: Why Americans Should Get on the Truck

    The nights we bush camp it feels like we are having an authentic African adventure. Helena spends her time looking for creatures. She fawns over beetles and moths, cooing about how beautiful they are. Tiny lightening bugs send yellow bursts of light through the forest making it look enchanted.

  • On Overlanding: Why Americans Should Get on the Truck

    We finally found a restaurant selling chicken, rice, beans, and chips. Just as we tucked into some beans and chips, thunder clapped and it began to pour.

  • On Overlanding: Why Americans Should Get on the Truck

    Every morning before we left camp, Dave filled two thermoses with instant coffee. The caffeine kept him on high alert as he guided the truck down pot-holed roads that wound up into the mountains between Malawi and Mozambique, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.