thirty-five degrees

Out of bed and down the stairs to open the old wooden door and take a breath of morning. It is cold. Twenty-nine degrees. Tiny white flakes drift and spiral in the air. It is Spring in Alpena, Michigan. Our neighborhood is silent, except for our American flag. A heavy-duty, hand-stitched beauty that’s got a … More thirty-five degrees

our last day

(this story first appeared in Vol 28.1 of December Magazine) First the snow. Three heavy hours. We run in it. Play. Build snowmen. Snowball fight. Fall onto our backs, move our legs and arms back and forth until we turn into angels.   Then the heat. Within an hour the snow is gone. We are down … More our last day

a work in progress

My boy. Fourteen today. 1 4. One. Four. Goddamn. He’s a good spirit. Has good intentions. Is not meant to be bound by the rules. I know this. And yet, I expect him to meet expectations that I know are bullshit. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. What’s a forty-six year-old, chubby hubby and daddy to do when … More a work in progress

the pit

In the kitchen. Taxes on my mind. Knowing I need to get them done because if done right, we’ll get money back. We need this money to live this life we’re living. I understand that the sum of your belongings means nothing. But once you accumulate and have, you expect. It’s ridiculousness at its best. … More the pit

the giving

My kids go round the block. My daughter to her friend’s place. Within sight. Within earshot. But sometimes she goes left instead of right. A shortcut that eliminates 67 steps. My boy rides his bicycle to Bay View to play basketball. He runs too. From our street, up 1st, to Ripley, to 2nd and back … More the giving

Devotion – Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1—STARLITE BEACH Maggie and I marry on Starlite Beach. A quiet, quarter-mile stretch of sandy shoreline in Thunder Bay, Michigan. We are barefoot and all smiles as we watch giant black-and-blue clouds roll over Lake Huron. They are electrified with lightning. Thunder rumbles, the storm inches closer, and Reverend Romanowski—one of Maggie’s Dad’s long-time … More Devotion – Chapter 1

little boys

Fingers through fences pecked and nibbled and bitten by chickens, beagle pups, and bunnies. We were bare-chested, blonde and tan and we ran barefoot and we ran hard turning green grass brown and flattening the yard   until the ground was hard-packed like pavement. Mom and Dad never had nice things, a tidy house, an … More little boys