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Stalked by a Vulture!

Monday was a mild day, surprisingly beautiful for the middle of January. It’s my day off, so my wife and I decided we’d take a walk at one of our favorite spots: the St. Louis Zoo. The animals all come out on mild winter days like this. We walked past the...

This Would Change Everything

It's a fall day, four in the afternoon, about sixty degrees outside. I have a late night at the office ahead of me, so I cut work for a couple hours to rest and eat dinner with my family. I'm scattered, a million things on my mind, but we've just bought a new...

How One Year Can Give You a Whole Career

Tonight, I’m playing the part my mother used to play: the patient parent waiting for my child’s piano lesson to be over. The out of tune spinets, the squeaky violins, the kids who swear they practiced, their credulous teachers. This is the sound of my...

Stuff You Can and Cannot Post Online

Every Monday night, I drive my daughter to piano lessons. I love my little girl, and I am always excited to spend time with her. We used to listen to podcasts to and from her lesson: This American Life, Radio Lab, Stuff You Missed in History Class. I love how smart...

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...

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