• Finding Jeffery: The Back Story

    We were a working-class family slogging through the tired, rain-soaked towns of Western Oregon, six kids clawing for consequence amid the throes of our mother’s venom and vodka—the 12 houses in 18 years, the characters who came and went through the doors, and the fathers who seemed so indifferent to it all. Finding Jeffery is the… Continue Reading

  • Prison Rules

    I’m the father of three athletic, competitive boys. And I, myself, am a former athletic, competitive boy. That means things usually get interesting when the balls get rolled out around here for friendly family competitions. Miniature golf, table tennis, Monopoly—nobody likes to lose at any of it. Ever. So, on the competitive scale of Riley… Continue Reading

  • Twenty Sixteen

    It floated like a butterfy and stung like a bee. In 2016, the strawberries tasted like strawberries, and the snozzberries tasted like snozzberries. We put our red shoes on and danced the blues. A life that orbited the Earth in only five hours finally splashed down at sea. The clever man in the bright blue… Continue Reading

  • Conversations With Baristas

    The 6:43 a.m. Saturday conversations with baristas are the best conversations to have with baristas. Most of the morning crowd is still stretching and reading headlines in bed. Those who are here? There is a man sleeping in the leather chair in the middle of the shop. I guess if you’re going to sleep in… Continue Reading

  • Our Journeys

    My favorite train is the 74 Piedmont out of Greensboro. It delivers my 20-year-old son from college on a breezy, colorful October afternoon. The hair that is now held back by a headband. The flip-flops. The plastic trash bag that carries his dirty laundry. The book of poetry in his left hand. Two years ago,… Continue Reading

  • Oil, Water, & Dark Chocolates

    Teen sons. Three, to be exact. Us parents are way too familiar with the sibling rivalries and the bickering over the the silliest of topics. In these parts, we’ve had so many disputes over the years that we’ve had to name them: Griffen and Cooper. Also affectionately known most days as Oil and Water. One is… Continue Reading

  • Wanted: One Seriously Talented Dog Whisperer

    Here’s how it works around here. First, the dogs get squeaky toys in their stockings for Christmas. Lots of them. Then they run around like the 7-pound badasses they are, biting the toys repeatedly because — unbeknownst to those of us with normal hearing — squeaky noises to dogs are apparently like Dylan on a rainy day… Continue Reading