Giving Sorrow Words

For the most part I’m upbeat and content—I have to be! I try to never sweat the small stuff, and I tend to sail through life brushing off any nonsense that comes my way.

The best car I ever had was totaled, and I went broke on rentals while trying to sort out the mess—to no avail. Hey, no problem!

Student loan debt has nearly doubled thanks to that “low” interest rate. Hey, no problem!

I found out my best friend… Read More …

Four Years On

Sometimes, it takes the eye of an outsider to appreciate your surroundings.

This past August, I had just such a chance when some old friends from Delaware came for a visit. Although we definitely wanted to hang out and catch up, I knew they’d also want to see what makes Vermont great and planned a few jam-packed days, including the usual “three-town tour” I give everyone: Montpelier, Waterbury, and Burlington. But with decent weather and my own wish to see a few new things myself, we all became tourists on that long weekend.

In Montpelier, we all tried… Read More …

Enormity in Small Things

Four years ago, when I was first considering a move to Vermont for a career change, there were naturally reservations. I knew that Waterbury was smaller than most any town I had spent the night in, much less lived in, and nearby towns weren’t much larger. I considered commuting from Burlington, a bit of a mixture of Wilmington and Newark, Delaware—only with more spunk and vigor—but the distance and inadequate transit made it impractical.

So, I gathered all the … Read More …

Message to a Mystery Girl

I dream constantly, but most are just flashes that I vaguely, if it all, remember. A lot have to do with practical, everyday things or things so unreal they mean little. I know my brain moves ninety-to-nothing at all times, and sleep is no different.

But occasionally a dream is so connected to reality, that I forget I’m supposed to be asleep. This was one one such dream.

We should first put aside that… Read More …

Man in the Mirror

In my head, I’m still that 20-something guy, absorbing all I can and working on that long journey to figure out myself and the world.

If I close my eyes and sing along to some song that means anything to me, it’s still 1993. I’m sitting on the bed in that rented room on Dallas Avenue, wearing tattered jeans and a tie-dyed shirt while lip-syncing Toad the Wet Sprocket.

For a split second, I might even get the urge to hop on the old Schwinn mountain bike and head to… Read More …

Little Man Big Man

We had to put our heads on our desks and raise our hands to vote. There were no paper ballots, no ballot box, just a simple count of hands. This came after each category called for nominations: secretary, treasurer, reporter, representatives, vice president, and president of the class’s 4-H chapter.

I was at the age where I thought formalities like this mattered, and any positive attention or recognition I could get was automatically a good thing. This was fifth grade, and it’s when… Read More …

If I Seemed too Quiet…

At a time in my life when I hated the world and it seemed to reciprocate beyond all expectation, there was always one bright spot—my silly little brother Kevin. I had been the youngest of three kids for 12 years, but I never really felt the part. It got me no special treatment, and if anything I felt like the quintessential middle child from the beginning—and that made perfect sense when Kevin was born five days after my 12th birthday.

To our delight, Kevin was… Read More …

Always Changing, Probably

I don’t often write about work, and my family and friends seem so befuddled about it that I rarely even bring it up. It’s not fascinating or earth-shattering, but I do enjoy it.

First, a little background: When I finished my undergraduate work (English and anthropology), I knew I wanted to work in publishing, preferably academic publishing. I was certain I did not want to teach, and really, what else is there for an English major but publishing or writing? So I continued with a master’s degree in publishing. Was it more than I needed? Perhaps. It also… Read More …

Everything and Nothing

I’ve never been a big fan of Robin Williams’ comedy. I often found his frenzied standup painful to watch and sometimes had to turn from talk shows during his segments, because even his interviews were just too manic during my “wind down” time. I was wary of his movies for the same reason, and I haven’t seen many of them. I have, however, always been a fan of Robin Williams, the man.

No, he wasn’t a hero by any stretch and didn’t accomplish… Read More …

Happy Discoveries

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, life is pretty short. I try to spend mine discovering anything and everything, big and small, bizarre and mundane.

No matter where I go—to and from work, out for a stroll behind my building, or walking through my neighborhood—I am constantly taking inventory. My eyes scan everything around me, detecting the least little speck of something out of place. (Ask Susanne—she’s witnessed me spotting the tiniest of things in the forest floor on many of our hikes together.)

So it was nothing new to… Read More …