Thursday, November 26, 2020

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Posted November 04, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Between donuts

We sit on the bench. Both of us mouths open, heads leaned back, eyes wide. Glazed donuts melting in our hands as we watch. Clearly, no parent is in charge of the two of us. We grab a second donut before the show really begins. BIG TREE CUTTING. . .

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Posted September 30, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

A tree on a roof

The tree rests comfortably on the roof. Nonchalantly, really. Not a care in the world. Might as well be in a pushed-back recliner with feet up. Perhaps a cigar would be in order. Or at least one of those new cocktails that are so popular at the local bars. It

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Posted September 02, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Naked ladies

One moment there’s nothing, the next moment — beautiful flowers. Magic. Which must be why the blossoms stand at the very tippy top as if suddenly sprouting out of the head of a giraffe. Straight and tall on stems that are long and ungainly, it would seem that the wind

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Posted August 05, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

A vision from a paper-towel dispenser

Would it help your pandemic doldrums if someone told you that you are special? Of course, that “someone” may be a complete lunatic. Fine. But why not pay your money and take a chance? I’ve generally been good with the fallout from the coronavirus — picking up groceries from masked

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Posted July 01, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Social media updo

“Dad, isn’t FaceTime a great way for us to talk during this weird virus time?” The smiling face of my daughter locked down in England greets me. Lively, personable and true to real life. And then I make the mistake of looking at the small screen in the right corner.

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Posted April 01, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Dog lovers everywhere

“No!” It seems a simple enough word. Sure, I love my daughter and her notorious criminal accomplice, my wife, but the answer is clear. “No, never, no way will we get another flea-bitten dog!” But my adult daughter is wonderfully persistent in everything. Especially when it comes to dogs. “It

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Posted March 04, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Another snow day in Iowa

They are a bit different when you’re an old man. The shovel runs smoothly along the driveway, pushing the not-too-heavy snow into the growing hill on the side. The sky brightens from dark gray to light gray. Sunrise. I pause, take a deep breath of sharp air. Suddenly, the wind

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Posted February 05, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

Giants in the earth

Teaching was David’s thing. Music was David’s thing. And equality was David’s thing. “There were giants in the earth in those days.” Genesis 6.4. Yup, that’s what the Bible says — giants. The heroes of long ago. The great men and women of the past. Solid folks. People you could

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Posted January 01, 2020in Joe's Neighborhood

The real free stuff

A little love here, a little push there, a little encouragement wherever it was needed. “So, you want to try the Fernet?” the bartender asked as he leaned across the bar with a small shot of dark liquid. Why not? Although, I must admit that I’ve never quite taken to

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Posted December 04, 2019in Joe's Neighborhood

The peanut butter caper

Am I being punished for secretly liking romance novels featuring a pirate as the main character? Pick up backpack. Shuffle one step. Set down backpack. Breathe. Turn around to see if I’m somehow miraculously closer. I’m not. Pick up backpack. Shuffle one step. Set down backpack. Breathe. Turn around. Listen,

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