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Daniel Boone and the Golden Arches

It’s a little after 6 PM on a Monday night. I’m sitting in a McDonald’s by myself. This isn’t my favorite place in the world. The floor is slippery with grease. The tables have specks of burger bun and ketchup. I've settled in at the table I feel the most okay about....

The Strange Cathedral Down the Street

I’m hanging out at my local Starbucks on a Saturday afternoon. I’m sitting in one of those brown leather chairs that are slightly too narrow for me. I have to tuck my elbows close to my rib cage in order to type on my laptop. At places like this, I’m a shameless...

LIBRARY NERDS, UNITE!

I don’t know why God is so present to me in libraries, but sometimes I sense His presence between stacks of books more than in any cathedral, church, or prayer closet. I don’t have much memory of libraries before the age of twelve, when we moved to the rural town of...

I was a giant choir nerd

I’m eleven years old. The sun has set, it’s cold outside, and I’m in my elementary school music classroom. Like the other boys in my grade, I’m grabbing a red bow tie and cummerbund from a plastic bag. Unlike the other boys in my grade, I know how to put them on. I...

My Old Friend Anne

I first meet Anne at my elementary school book fair. I’m eleven. She’s twelve. She’s wearing a blue shift dress over a filthy white shirt. Her red hair is in two long braids, and a wide-brimmed straw hat is perched on the back of her head. She holds a large, ratty...

I Stole This Baseball

We vacationed recently in northern Michigan. On our way home, instead of staying a night in Chicago like we had planned, we decided to stop in my “home town” of South Bend, Indiana. I lived in South Bend from the ages of 6 to 12 on Arbor Drive, a tree-lined street...

Stop Crying!

Crystal, the kids, and I vacationed in northern Michigan. On our second full day, we drove up to Old Mission Peninsula in Traverse City. Beautiful, beautiful country. On our drive, we found a quaint general store that featured clerks in black bowler hats, loud Roaring...

Whatever Happened to Benjamin R?

Most guys have a bachelor party. This is what I did. It’s March 17, 2000, barely twelve hours before I get married. I’m standing at an airport gate as passengers from a Salt Lake City flight stream past me. I’m scanning each face for someone I haven’t seen since I was...

Look! Heaven!

Hi everyone,   A memory for you. . . I’m nine years old. I’ve spent the night at my best friend’s house. We wake up early because today is the very last day of third grade. His mom, notoriously frugal, feeds us scrambled eggs on toast. I am shocked that we’re not...

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