Columns 1998

Jonesboro Macho

The cliche that apples don't fall far from the tree holds much truth.

Kids tend to imitate their parents. They do it when they're little. I remember when my son was barely two years old and I called him to come upstairs to bed. He prattled back past the pacifier in his mouth, "I'll come as soon as I finish my essay."

They do it as they grow up. My husband and I are extremely proud of our son these days. When he wants to show off how tough and macho he is becoming, he imitates his dad by putting hot sauce on his food.

Rosie and Hershey

I was not raised in proximity to cats. Far from it. I was raised by people who thought cats were for secular humanists and dogs were for Christians. Dogs are (well, they seem to be) motivated by guilt and obligation, which is (to certain folks) theologically superior to cats who are chiefly interested in warm spots and wet food.

Mom Eyes

My incredibly sophisticated and "majorly" cool brother was still a high school kid when he told me the piece of human behavior trivia he'd learned that day. According to Paul, if you stared at a person long enough, you could get their attention. You didn't have to do anything else, just look at them avidly. He said it was a super trick, he'd already tried it on a couple of girls in his classes. He'd stare at the back of their heads, eventually they would start squirming, they'd look around and find him. He'd smile.


One Flagstone at a Time

I admire great engineering projects. The pyramids of ancient Egypt. The Great Wall of China. Macchu Pichu. I like to think about the ancient architects who invented such edifices. I feel awe and empathy for the hordes of ordinary blokes who labored their lives away building them. These huge projects portray the inspirational imagination of human beings. They also show us in that if people dog away at something long enough, they can do almost anything.

The Deer

Close Encounters of the Outside Kind

A few weeks ago I saw an eagle. I've not seen them very often in my life, I was moved by the wild beauty of the magnificent bird soaring against the wide blue sky.

Car Trouble #2

Early in June we were dinner guests at the home of friends. The evening was so enjoyable I suggested we get together again mid-summer in Chicago. We could do something interesting in the afternoon then go to an "off the beaten track" sort of nouveau Mexican restaurant that my husband and I like. Our friends said that as long as we did the driving, anything sounded fine.

Happy Anniversary

Years ago, a friend revealed to me how unhappy she was about her life. Being the marvelously insightful and sensible person that I was back then (note the irony of middle age currently speaking), I advised her how to correct the direction of her life. She was so pleased with my wisdom that she never talked to me again.

I learned my lesson. Large subjects are best left to licensed professionals and bartenders. The rest of us should keep our noses out.