Saturday, February 16, 2008


A family is a thing that evolves. I'll start with the losing part. I try to conjure images of of time spent with my grandparents, now gone, and it is easy as some of those times, so rich and vivid, fuel my aspiration to create space in my life for events that replicate the good feelings. I have written of the loss of a Brother and will some day write of the loss of my Dad and another Brother. Actually, I have written of those losses but have not found a way or reason to share it yet. But a wonderful thing about family is that, if you are lucky, it is a living thing that changes and grows. Here is a picture of part of my evolving family. You see my daughter, Stephanie, sustainability professional, and her high energy fiance, Matt. He's a social worker and a martial arts expert. I like that combination. He makes a living providing assistance to folks who have been swatted down by the system and/or their own dysfunctional decisions but also has the competence to fend off a gratuitous attack. People are safer when he's around. You also see Casey, our Benji-looking mutt, who has the amazing skill and talent necessary to train a couple of adults, me and my wife, Linda, to look after his every need. He's a good dog and his pack instincts make him an integral part of the family. Whenever we bring him along to a family event, he races around the array of humans to greet those he knows and to test the bonding possibilities of the less familiar. There's a lesson there. He recognizes the immense value of a pack (family).

Friday, February 8, 2008

Too Soon to Think Spring

I have a mantra that one should wait until March 1 to start yearning for spring weather here in Northeast Ohio. Any long stretch of springlike weather before then is perverse I have learned causing buds to sprout and then freeze. Warm days in March are gifts to be appreciated and savored because they are invariably followed by revisits of winter. However, in this post-postmodern, global-warmed early 21st century such sentiments are probably ephemeral. Who knows how the carbon load is changing the seasonal cycle. It's bound to be chaotic. But there's nothing wrong with musing over memories of what the warm weather brings around here. Each spring, we have anticipated a doe showing her fawn the way to the salt lick in our myrtle patch. Imagine our spring delight when last year, a relatively small, probably yearling, female brought triplets out of the woods ( 12% occurrence). This picture was a little later in the summer. We were amazed but gratified that this mom was able to feed and protect all three.