Getting Off the Tilt-a-Whirl

Flox by the railroad tracks at 7AM. 5-18-2017

Over here at the Lucky Dog Chalet (our house) we are at Day #5 of being above-average happy about Life in General.

I’ve always been more curious about success than failure. It’s easy to be miserable; just eat a sleeve of store-bought cookies, blame it on someone else, then watch the news. Right? How to be miserable in 3 simple steps without getting off the sofa

But happy? Content? Pleased?

What happened? What brought on this Cloud of Mild Cheer?

Here’s what happened.


D is for Death. Hooboy.

I found the above (pictured) plaque at Goodwill yesterday and it made me laugh out loud. I understand the heartfelt statement of faith and gratitude, but wow, if you are going to laminate your faith statement onto a plaque – maybe run it past a writer first?

This sounds as if the Son of God was doing okay until he encountered the Sins of You.

So anyways… D is for Death.

Oh yeah, this will be short and easy.

Central statement of this essay; death sucks.
But also; death brings weird clarity.


A week ago I gave up on kidding myself that an ingrown toenail is a joke. Went to a podiatrist and had the horrible surgery. (They numb you up and it doesn’t really hurt; it’s just the thought that makes one want to faint in their tracks). And then I didn’t go back outside for a week. Not kidding. Some people go back to work. Me? Not so much. I stayed home and wrote and read and moved photos around on the YouTube I talked about yesterday. (29 people have watched so far….)

Sunny Funerals

Yesterday was the funeral of Jack Jude. I met him off and on over the years we lived in Racine. He was a smart, compassionate, wide-thinking, justice-for-all judge in Racine County. We were not close friends but we knew each other, and talked from time to time when we ran into each other in the Law Enforcement Center. Twice, when I encountered complicated legal snafus in regards to the guys I worked with, I called him. He would listen and then suggest options and strategies.

I know Jack’s unexpected death has rocked many lives.

Rites of Passage / Old Column

pine trees

My daughter is going to have a baby soon. This past weekend I went to a beautiful baby shower hosted by friends of my daughter, her husband, and his parents. Driving back home I thought about this column I wrote in 2003.

Last week, late one afternoon and for no particularly pressing reason, I started stripping and refinishing my kitchen windows. And then, well, I decided to repaint the kitchen.

First published: August 23, 2003

P. Wilman R.I.P.

Wilman, Laura, Quentin. It got better.

You who are my friends already know some of these stories about my dad but a friend from my home town was in the area a few weeks ago and I was regaling her with some of this stuff. Peg said, “My mom loves stories like these, you should write them down.”

Well, there’s a thought. Hi, Mrs. Houk!

Skin Deep

Last night, realizing it was pleasant outside; we turned off the air conditioning and opened the windows. Len went for a bike ride while I lounged on the sofa, under the paddle fan, reading a low-quality book with a premium smile on my face.

There is that delicious moment when you turn off the manufactured cool air… Ahhh…

What’s outside – sweet or stinky, loud or quiet, beautiful or stupid - wafts in and around you. It’s almost a religious moment as your skin does its incarnational thing, resuming human life in the given world.


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