Many, Many Candles

Part of this year's twenty. Geez, I'm getting old.

It’s birthday season, and that is always a dangerous time for me.  Not only is there the fire hazard, there is the potential for the Crisis to rear its ugly, balding head. You know exactly what I mean.  Men look at each birthday as a yardstick, measuring where we are in life against where our friends are, where our colleagues are, or—most dangerous of all—where we thought we would be by now. Continue reading

Public School Teacher/Homeschool Dad

Old Schoolhouse

I lead a double life.

Not that kind of double life.  A boring kind.  I’m not a superhero, not a spy.  The FBI did surveil me once, but it turned out I wasn’t really the one they were interested in; they were after some other guy with my name.  That guy, wherever he is, appears to be having quite a time. Continue reading

Land of Knowledge


“What is a capital letter?”

“Does the United States have a king?”

“What city is Boston University in?”

The questions in this post are real.  They were asked of me, in my classroom.  The eleven to fourteen-year-olds who posed them are real children.  Many of those children are now grown, and walk among us as adults, leaders, parents.

I teach middle school.  You’re welcome. Continue reading

The Sound of Worship

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

How do you solve a problem like Maria…

I’m sorry; that had nothing to do with this post.  I don’t know Maria, but I’m sure she is capable of dealing with her own issues.  It’s just that I happen to be writing this from backstage at The Sound of Music, a show that my daughter and I are involved in.  I never would have heard about this show, much less been in it, if not for my daughter. I owe you my thanks, Riss.  If I had missed this show, I would have missed out on a key element of my quest for A Life Worthy. Continue reading

Painful Togetherness



Mountain - Alaska's Denali

Hiking is a great way to damage those you love.  From time to time I forget this, and I take my family out on “Togetherness” hikes.  You think I would learn.  You see, I have a problem with remembering things like distance and difficulty.  The beautiful thirty-minute stroll that I remember turns out to be a three day slog of despair.

The walk my kids fondly refer to as, “The Killer Death Hike” took place about five years ago, Continue reading


Wedding rings

Yesterday was my nineteenth wedding anniversary.

I had to work.

Go ahead, send the comments…I know it’s lousy.

I spent the day thinking, “At this moment nineteen years ago, I was packing for our honeymoon.  At this moment nineteen years ago, I was getting dressed for the wedding.  At this moment nineteen years ago, my best man was driving me to the ceremony…and here I sit in a meeting.” Continue reading

Welcome to My Mid-Life Crisis

Urbana 2006 motto: Live a Life Worthy of the C...

Mine hit while I was standing at the bathroom sink.  It had not been a good day.  A virus was mocking my immune system.  My part-time “extra” job was giving me fits.  I had just been fired from my primary job–a job that I didn’t even like in the first place.  I was breathless from the walk up the stairs, and I knew I couldn’t blame it on being sick.  Feelings of failure, and weakness, and plain old ineptiosity were creeping in.

Then my wife, beloved of my heart, partner of my life, stood behind me at the sink and uttered the magic words. Continue reading