On Baseball

I am by no means an avid baseball fan. As a kid I tried out for Little League. I really can’t remember why I tried out; it just seemed to be the thing to do in sixth grade. At the tryouts, I had no idea what position I wanted to try out for so they assigned me to home plate as catcher. I had never worn a catcher�......... more »

We Are Not Meant to Live Isolated Lives

For most of human history, homo sapiens lived in small bands, towns, and villages.  Always there were several generations under one roof, be that roof a hard rock cave ceiling, palm thatch, tanned buffalo hides, or fired tiles.  Even with the advent of agriculture a littleover 10,000 years ago and the rise of industr......... more »

Fallen Leaves

When I was a kid in Terre Haute, Indiana, fall meant raking leaves. It was the only yard work I enjoyed. We’d rake the leaves into giant piles, and then we’d spend the next couple of hours jumping in them, reforming the piles, and jumping in again. I can remember the damp earthy smell of those we raked from under t......... more »

More Fun than the Olympics

The opening event was due on the same day as the opening of the 2018 Winter Olympics. My wife and I flew from Washington to Yucca Valley, California. We were greeted with nice 77-84 degree weather and a big hug from our young “Olympian” Kay. At age 14, Kay was both excited and anxious about her dance recital tha......... more »

Paperwork for Peace of Mind

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night and think about those hard things that you know you should get around to but haven’t quite made time for? You know, reevaluating your homeowners’ policy? Cleaning out the tool shelf in the basement? Having end-of-life paperwork in place? I can’t help you with the ......... more »


“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.” So C. S. Lewis begins his book, A Grief Observed, about the death of his wife, Joy. A few weeks ago, travel......... more »

The Anthropology of Aging: Biking Across Kansas

“Miles later and the heat is just ferocious. Sunglasses and goggles are not enough for this glare. You need a welder’s mask.” Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig.   In our culture, as we grow older the process of negotiating transitions with ourselves and others is a cons......... more »

Life in the Middle

An accordion. That’s what my life feels like right now, with pressure from two sides. I reflected on this in my first “Fine Winer” article, that I’m feeling the “middle” in “middle age.” My wife, Joy, and I are dealing with the growing pains of our young adult kids, and with aging parents. We worry a......... more »