Never Rescue Frogs (They’re Evil)

I am sitting on the couch in the lobby of our local gym because I rescued a frog. Now, normally, I’d be upstairs working out — in the very limited way that I do. My wife is upstairs in the torture room she calls “exercise.” Healthy people walk by with their frou-frou water on the way to … Continue reading Never Rescue Frogs (They’re Evil)

Managing Expectations

I tell my wife and daughters all the time to manage their expectations. Whether it’s a new job, new boyfriend, new car, fast food, new conspiracy theory, or new girl scout cookie flavors, manage your expectations. You get the picture. I recommend managing expectations about pretty much everything in life. Don’t have unrealistic expectations (positive … Continue reading Managing Expectations

Broken Legs and Priorities

The impact threw me from the motorcycle into the air in the opposite direction of the way we had been traveling. Physics is funny like that! I landed on my right leg, which snapped like an unlucky baseball bat in the hands of an angry Bo Jackson, who just struck out. Things were worse for … Continue reading Broken Legs and Priorities

Visa Application

For a long time after the American Embassy in Moscow denied her request for a visa, I thought about getting my fiancé (somehow) to Mexico and then crossing the southern border into Texas — um, legally — illegally — I didn’t care. Only because I didn’t know. Really! Then we could get married and everything would be perfect. I don’t know … Continue reading Visa Application

The Russian Lesson

In the next room, I hear the unmistakable chatter of a foreign language. Actually, I hear my bride, Inna, speaking Russian, which is not all that unusual as she was born and raised in the land of matryoshkas (see picture), permafrost (be thankful you don’t have it), and, well, more snow. Inna is teaching Russian … Continue reading The Russian Lesson

Lame Claim to Fame

To successfully navigate the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous, one must have a sponsor to steer the drunk from continuing on his or her destructive path. My dad had just such a sponsor. He is the guy in the photo (below). I’ve listened to my dad, through smoke-filled rooms, give testimony to his life with … Continue reading Lame Claim to Fame

The Useless Microphone

I‘m sitting in an audience straining to hear the speaker. “Why?” you ask? I’ll tell you. The microphone is too far away from the dude’s mouth. All he needs to do is to move closer to the microphone and, BAM, his little voice would be amplified and we’d hear him. But he doesn’t. Why do … Continue reading The Useless Microphone

Congratulations, you’re pregnant

There are a few things that professors will tell you not to do when you are in law school: don’t get married, don’t have a baby, or don’t rob banks. Crazy, right? I mean, how are we supposed to live? Thankfully, my experience in these endeavors is limited. And the statute of limitations hasn’t run … Continue reading Congratulations, you’re pregnant

The Blaming Game Starter Pack

I am probably five or six years old. I’m sitting at a table with other preschool kids. The teacher is Mrs. Payne and it’s almost time for the bell to ring and dismiss a hoard of wild little kids to trample anything on their way to the school buses. Mrs. Payne is going on about … Continue reading The Blaming Game Starter Pack

Russian Sweet Tea

“You’re doing this wrong.” Don’t you get tired of these stupid headlines? I do! You’re Eating Apples All Wrong You’re Making Beans All Wrong You’re Eating Pizza All Wrong You’re Cooking Meth the Wrong Way I could go on. Regardless, let me share why it's important that you make sweet tea the right way. You’re … Continue reading Russian Sweet Tea

Learning To See Clearly

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash We’re at a little church that we’ve visited several times lately. It’s just a big country church with good, friendly people. Nothing fake here. There is one problem, however. And I hate to bring it up. But … There are pieces of artwork on either side of the front wall, on both … Continue reading Learning To See Clearly

Clean Water

Everyone needs clean water. And we all expect to get clean water, especially if you are a soldier and approach a “water buffalo” that has the word “potable” clearly stamped on the side. (A water buffalo is just a big portable metal tank with clean drinking water.) Usually. They give soldiers and Boy Scouts (or … Continue reading Clean Water

Chapter Endings

At the time, I thought the years (actually only six weeks) that I had spent in basic military training at lovely Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio were the worst. But the next day after graduation (and after having been awarded honor graduate for my “skills” as guidon during honor flight competition) I stepped … Continue reading Chapter Endings

A Love Story in Winter

I twirled her around a few times while the soft moonlight filtered and fractured its way through the frozen branches of a row of nearby birch trees. It was this magical moment that one simply cannot replicate in the warm and mostly snow-less climate of central Arkansas. But I was in Russia and for me, … Continue reading A Love Story in Winter