Monday, July 4, 2022

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Posted June 01, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

In the gutter in Dublin

The rain is gentle in Dublin, Ireland, unlike the hard rain in Iowa this spring. The rain washes down the old slate roofs, flowing into gutters and spilling into private [...]

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Posted May 04, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

Happy ‘Windsday’

The mud-brown leaves, pressed flat and brittle by winter snow, swirl around on my blue tarp looking for a way to escape the mulch pile. A gust blows from the [...]

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Posted April 06, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

Stuck in Bad Luck Canyon

Sometimes it seems like the only thing you can win is the short end of the stick. Why is that? Did you break a mirror, walk under a ladder, step [...]

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Posted March 02, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

Who should be culled from the herd?

“The test is in the pneumatic tube,” the pharmacy tech’s crackly robotic voice says over the speaker. Great. But which pneumatic tube? With all the other tubes and pipes and [...]

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Posted February 02, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

The rosary

The two young girls shared nearly everything. No surprise. The Great Depression guaranteed a certain equality even though the girls were four years apart in age.  “So you shared your [...]

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Posted January 05, 2022in Joe's Neighborhood

‘Begone, Satan!’ or ‘Come hither, Iowa Angels’?

It began when she was 14 years old. Secret voices. Shameful desires. Unholy thoughts of suicide and mayhem. This went on for 26 years until she had enough of the [...]

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Posted December 01, 2021in Joe's Neighborhood

Winter is coming

And Sister Marla Smith’s eyes light up. Trust me.  Holding her thin hand and rubbing her thin back, I sit quietly beside her wheelchair. She smiles, and I swear a [...]

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Posted November 03, 2021in Joe's Neighborhood

Sam the Barber

“Aging is a journey that many don’t experience. They were born old, and they die old.”  The parking lot is full. Men in dress pants and jackets. Women in dresses [...]

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Posted October 06, 2021in Joe's Neighborhood

Bolinhas and thongs

My wife and I have major parts of our bodies that have never seen the light of day. The endless white sand beaches of southern Portugal are baked in bright [...]

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Posted September 01, 2021in Joe's Neighborhood

The retirement of John Sarcone

This is not going to be an unbiased examination of John Sarcone’s tenure as Polk County Attorney — with an accompanying hard-hitting look at why he prefers Italian sausage sandwiches [...]

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