• view of sun behind branch overlooking small mountain village.

    Estoher Eight years ago, I spent a month in the small, all-but-deserted, medieval peasant village of Estoher. Located twenty-six miles from Perpignan, in the southwest of France, it sits at the foot of The Alps and Mount Canigou. The mountain, they say, has healing powers. My son, Uriah, joined me for part of the time, ...
  • Early 1900's picture of my Dad's father-my grandfather

    Once again, the eight-year-old me is standing under the mantle staring up at that serious, soft-eyed person in the picture. Sometimes, when passing through this room, I glance up and smile. Other times, I fear he is watching me as if he is judging. When no one is around, I return his gaze and try ...
  • Jason, Kelly, Brian sometime late 1979-ealry 1980

    We returned to Chicago, and Mummy gave her consent to proceed with the wedding as planned. Everything is now rushed, but it turned out well. It’s a quiet affair, a simple ceremony with flowers, candles, and champagne at the Unitarian Church. Words by Dr. Gibbons from the Bible fall soft as petals. Kelly reads passages ...
  • Sacred city of Haridwar

    Upon hearing of Daddy’s demise, John and I rush to call Mummy in Ottawa, Canada. Mummy reminds us to inform Kaushalya Aunty, Daddy’s older sister, of his passing. We drive to Oak Brook, where she lives with her daughter, Sucharita, and her family. Wailing and sobbing her heart out, my aunt insists on talking to ...
  • Hand holding remote pointing at TV

    “Everything that has a beginning has an end.” The Oracle (Matrix Revolutions) Knowing everything has an ending helps prepare you for shows like NCIS: Los Angeles finale. What it doesn’t prepare you for is the emotional overload. When a TV series ends, it isn’t the same as life, but it brings many emotions; the same ...
  • Picture from Fishing Trip

    After the initial shock of Rita’s cancer diagnosis, several meetings with doctors and specialists were scheduled. A treatment regimen is recommended, followed, and monitored closely. It includes surgeries, chemo, and radiation sessions, but not without difficulties. Rita loses her hair and wears a wig. She is not comfortable and hates the thought of wearing it. ...
  • Cheeseburger

    May is hamburger month in the U.S. I found this recipe that hits the spot every time. I’m not sure what tastes better, the secret sauce or the caramel onions, but I’ll let you decide. In California, a popular fast food restaurant is all the rave. In-n-Out Burger is famous for its ultimate double-double cheeseburger. ...
  • Late 1950s picture of John&Rita from personal album

    When Johnny turns sixteen, he and grandpa go car shopping. They are searching for a used one, but it is exciting nonetheless. Johnny sees a set of hot wheels out of grandpa’s price range. He falls in love and pleads to make up the difference by working longer hours at the garage. Grandpa gives in, ...
  • Gene & Millie at the White Swan

    Mildred is enjoying her newfound freedom after her divorce from Ray. She hits the dating scene and immediately falls in love again. The tall, handsome Gene Gephardt is amiable and ambitious. He dreams of building an upscale nightclub and restaurant on the outskirts of Granite City. The location? Not too far from St. Louis but ...
  • Millie in her early twenties

    Going to church every Sunday is another ritual Little Johnny enjoys. Grandpa and grandma are not regular church-goers. So, the neighbors offer to take Little Johnny to church with them every Sunday. The music and singing of hymns and songs enthrall Little Johnny. The two churches at the end of the street sit across from ...