Fifty years later, my daughter and three of her college roommates take a trip to Florence where I had gone to recover from surgery and the culture shock of living and studying in Rome. Over those four years’ study, I had returned many times. More particularly, I made it back to Fiesole, my retreat on … Continue reading Fiesole

Somebody to Lean On

According to so many ads on TV, online, and in magazines us older folks require a whole arsenal of walkers and stair climbers and walk-in bathtubs not to mention hearing aids and orthotic insoles. Well, we certainly can use some mechanical support devices. But the adaptations and accommodations we most lean on, don’t come from … Continue reading Somebody to Lean On

Screens and memories

A familiar sight, my grandchild absorbed in his ‘screens.’ Focused on a small rectangle of light and magic, absorbed in animated conflicts, he is cocooned within the world around him. Like a writer subsumed by his concentration, he startles and remonstrates if someone barges into the room with real-life presence and demands. As I age, … Continue reading Screens and memories

Humor Consultant

all stories are true and some of them actually happened I used to work for a major pharmaceutical company—in purchasing actually. But over years of coffee breaks and lunches I developed a rep for joke telling—longer anecdotes at the table; quick one-liners in the hallways and elevators. And eventually I had managers and department heads … Continue reading Humor Consultant

Beyond Words

The respirator pulsed with the trip-hammer rhythm of a base drummer pounding thoughts out of my head. Just as well. What is there to think about at this stage? Or to talk about, as if I could, masked as I am. My wife squeezes my hand. Sandra doesn’t need words from me, as we sit … Continue reading Beyond Words

Cheeky Birds

Florida. Anna Maria Island. Knee deep in the chilly water, I wade out to fling a line into the deep blue. I’m alone in the elements. There are no swimmers. Not in 55degree water. But for someone used to Lake Michigan, who when asked, “How’s the water?” answers either, “It hurts” or “It doesn’t hurt”…Tampa … Continue reading Cheeky Birds