Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Annual Manual

Posted January 14, 2015in Joe's Neighborhood

One good person, well-done

It’s the voice that grabs your attention. “Booming” seems too violent of a description.  And “piercing” seems too irritating.  But “arresting”?  Ah, the voice does make you stop and look and check out who is making that noise. Of course, there’s also his size. A big man by any standards. Bright-eyed and

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Posted January 07, 2015in Joe's Neighborhood

A Winter Forecast

  “The squirrel nests are high in the trees, have you noticed?” My mail carrier is a fairly sane looking man. Not a youngster by any means. He hustles every day, working long hours, hanging on to a job that seems to be fading away before the ever-present digital devices.

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Posted December 31, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot…’

  “Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and auld lang syne?”  Robert Burns. The concrete of the parking lot reflected the last rays of the sun as it fell behind the businesses on the other side of the road. A hard reflection in

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Posted December 24, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A homemade sweater

  “Why thank you. You are so kind to think of me. A homemade sweater. Yes, those are bright colors you knitted. Neon, aren’t they? Wow, look at that size. No, I’m sure I’ll grow into it.” My, oh my. A gift of love to be sure. Perhaps given to

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Posted December 17, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

It isn’t personal

Entering into the public meeting on this early winter day in Iowa was reminiscent of visiting a new church eager for converts. Smiling faces greeted everyone at the door. Materials were placed into calloused hands as the staff kept everyone moving forward. Coffee and donuts were displayed on long tables

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Posted December 10, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

One cup of Iowa nice

Nothing seems to be free during the holidays.  Your money appears to be made of a special paper that dissolves upon contact with air.  Now you see it sitting crisply in your wallet, now you own a plastic Santa that sings a Rastafarian remake of “Jingle Bells.” Really? And, let’s

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Posted December 03, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Home for the holidays

The fast train from Madrid, Spain, to Avignon, France, departing Monday afternoon. Train 9724, Car 1. Seats 71 and 76. Shoulder to shoulder, the men stood. Hundreds of men. Singing, yelling, chanting. Deafening. Frightening. Empowering. Solidifying. Their roar began in the highest seats of the stadium, floated across the mass

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Posted November 26, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Dear Food Dude

Honestly, I started out blaming you. Who wouldn’t? We were lost. Deep in the vineyards outside of St. Emilion, France. And vineyards are like cornfields — one row of grape vines is indistinguishable from the next row of grape vines. Row after row after row. And those ancient sections of

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Posted November 19, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

Do you know Joseph Haymoff?

The curious, who were mostly French on this early November day, carefully made their way down through the hedges and brambles and thorny bushes of the steep embankment until the spiky plants opened onto the sand. Everyone stopped to look over the vast beach at low tide. A glorious sight.

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Posted November 12, 2014in Joe's Neighborhood

A moral education

Great teachers are out there, folks. I’m talking about great teachers who are giants walking today’s earth. Great teachers who will make you lean in, or step back or gasp. Who, when they get done, make you realize you are no longer the same person. The planet has shifted. You have changed

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