Tag: family Page 1 of 14

Calling the Bet

2020 was the year that kept on giving.


Here’s a funny trend: the last few years have been tough–so tough that as we reach this last week before New Year’s Day, we have habitually wished away the year in hopes the next would be better. 2016 was one such year, as was 2019. Funny, isn’t it? What on earth happened to us in 2019 that convinced us to hurry up with it, to roll along as fast as we could in hopes that 2020 would bring us some kind of respite?

Well, 2020 called our bets and ran the table on us, plowing us over with a merciless pandemic, widespread civil unrest, and an election that annihilated any sense of national unity.

Twelve months ago, for the second time, I patched together a list of resolutions for the year 2020. I pecked out my meager ideas on the old, Olympia typewriter that belonged to my grandfather. Last year (2019), I kept the list on my fridge the entire year and followed up on my efforts.

The Earring

As told by me on Twitter:


It’s late, but that means it’s good timing for a bedtime story. Six years ago, my wife and I snuck away for a long weekend in Chicago. It was her first time in the Windy City, and we picked a blustery few days to be there. Very cold. We bundled up.

We did a lot of touristy stuff in the Loop, all fun: Art Institute, Sears Tower, shops on Michigan. We stayed at my favorite hotel, the Palmer House.

I thought it would be fun to have a drink before dinner at the bar at the top of the Hancock building, so up we went. The view was fun, the drinks quite nice, the atmosphere all you could ask. I wanted to show Kel the basement bar a few blocks down at the Drake, so off we went.

All Quiet on the Christmas Front

Christmas in the basement

There was a time for everything.


It needs no further explanation to say this was our first Christmas in the midst of a pandemic, and it was certainly different. Surprisingly, it might have been better.

Christmas days of years past were often filled with family merry-go-rounds, sprints between relatives’ roosts, packing up a car with presents, then unpacking them, wishing folks well, eating, unwrapping, repacking, driving, and repeating ad infinitum. Coming back home at the end of a multi-family quest was a gift in itself.

The Christmas Day race course had grown shorter in recent years. Family trees thin at the top and grow at the bottom. The trips to grandparents’ houses are now memories; with kids of our own to tow around, we move around less and less.

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