Stop Whistling and Start Singing

Whistling past the graveyard.  That phrase has been running through my mind all week long like it’s on a neverending loop.  Whistling past the graveyard.  Whistling past the graveyard.  Whistling past the graveyard. Frankly that’s how most of these essays get started. Some little thing — a memory, an image, a notion, a saying —…

Sweet Dreams Are Made of This

Think warm thoughts. Think cool thoughts. Lie down and put a pillow on your stomach. Growing up, if I complained about being cold or hot or not feeling well, Mama would usually reply with one of these phrases. I would try to think hard about something that fit the situation, maybe Granny’s fireplace or the…

The Nightlife Ain’t No Good Life

It’s been a helluva week. My car broke down, and I had to walk the rest of the way to work. I passed a murky pool by some rundown apartments and saw a sunken Tonka dump truck barely visible in the green water. By the time I got halfway to my office it was getting…

Safer at Home, Stronger at Home

Well folks, here we are seven weeks into what started out as social distancing, then became shelter in place, and is now safer at home.  Who thinks of the names? “Shelter in place” I get. It’s a common term you hear during tornado warnings and other act-of-God events. But “safer at home”? Sure. We are….

A Trip to the River and the Story of the Rogue Turnip

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny, breezy, temperate Saturday, so the boys and I decided to take a drive down to Shelby County to see if we could find a deserted spot to sit out in the sun by the Cahaba River a little while and to see if the Cahaba lilies had started to bloom…

Littlewood’s Law

Littlewood’s Law is named after Professor John Edensor Littlewood, a late 1800s Cambridge University mathematician.  He theorized that human beings are alert for an average of eight hours a day and that, with each passing second, a person experiences some sort of “event” which might be remarkable or unremarkable. Over the course of 35 days,…

Easter in the Time of Coronavirus

It’s Easter Sunday. Jesus is back, but the Easter Bunny didn’t drop by. Baskets and plastic grass and chocolate rabbits just didn’t seem worth the risk of going to the store this year.

The ‘Mater Method and Me

Twenty-one days. That’s how long “they say” it takes to form a habit. I say that’s how long it takes to figure out how to accept something that’s out of your control.