• Hangin’ On

    He was gone. Outta here. Poof! Just like that. Fed up with the rules and regulations of being a 10-year-old in the Riley household, Keenan Riley had run away. Chores, homework, little brothers who take Legos without asking — it can all kiss his white little fourth grade fanny. “I mean, he’s packed a bag,… Continue Reading

  • The King and His Banana Seat Throne

    There wasn’t anything particularly special about the Western Oregon towns of Monmouth and Independence for us kids growing up there in the 1970s. Mostly, they were just two small towns of mostly working-class folks trying put food on the table and keep the lights on. Independence was the smaller of the two towns, its population… Continue Reading

  • Going Big or Going Home

    I’ve had lots of wonderful Fourth of July celebrations with my own three boys, but one of my all-time favorites was when I was a boy myself — the bicentennial celebration of 1976, when I was visiting my Dad in Southern California. We’ll just say that Dad wasn’t all that prepared when it came to… Continue Reading

  • Finding More Than I Seek

    Sipping coffee this early Sunday morning, watching the little bird that makes a stop on my back porch every morning to hop around and pick dead bugs off the pavement, preparing to leave for my long hike in the woods … and checking the blog stats. When I wrote I Want My Boy Back, it… Continue Reading

  • And the Healing Begins …

    Kids these days. Those headphones, the online gaming, the laughing or yelling at their buddies deep into the night. I share a bedroom wall with this particular kid. A thin bedroom wall at that. So many a night around here ends – or perhaps begins? – with me plodding off to bed at 10, stopping… Continue Reading

  • “Dad, I’m Hungry”

    Hands-down — without any debate — the best three words any parent can ever hear out of their child’s mouth is, “I love you.” But I did discover No. 2 earlier this morning, when Griff FaceTimed me. “Dad, I’m hungry.” He’s eating. 😁 A lot. French toast, sausage, a biscuit … It not only stayed… Continue Reading

  • I Want My Boy Back

    To those of you who still aren’t taking COVID-19 seriously in the United States, to those of you think it’s funny or cute or clever to politicize it with your hilarious references to “China Virus,” to those of you storming city streets with your tough-guy rifles, and, lastly, to the salon owners in Texas and… Continue Reading

  • Pictures & Their 1,000 Words

    I love when I walk in the door after an otherwise standard Saturday, January 4, and my Universe is there to reach out and offer me a fist bump. In this case, the fist bump was in the form of a package on the table that Griff had brought inside. I saw the return address… Continue Reading

  • Hanging 11

    “Charlie don’t surf!” But J.D. does. And we’re all the better for it. *** The only thing that gives me more pleasure than checking off my own Bucket List items is when my friends check things off theirs. And because I’ve known the man for nearly 40 years now, and I know him to be… Continue Reading

  • House Calls

    Ninety-eight. That’s how old my stepfather, John Werline, would have been tomorrow. One. That’s how many times he ever stood up and stood between my mother’s rage and me. I never understood their agreement that we were “her kids” and his were “his kids” and that he always seemed to sort of disappear when she… Continue Reading