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A mind for winter

As above… …snow below: Before the recent heat wave started melting the abundant snow, I was able to enjoy a moment in the snowfall with Mr. Two Year Old, which is where I grabbed the clips above. I’m so glad he loved it as much as I did. Anytime I’m able to dwell in idyllic […]

Down from Basswood: Voices from the Boundary Waters

A friend of mine recently moved to northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He said he’d been looking online for information about the region when he stumbled upon mention of an obscure book that was supposed to really capture the area well. It was the short story collection Down from Basswood: Voices from the Boundary Waters by […]

Winston Churchill’s memo on brevity

I’m reading Erik Larson’s latest book The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz and appreciated his spotlighting a memo Churchill sent out to his cabinet with the title “Brevity.” Highlights: To do our work, we all have to read a mass of papers. Nearly all of them […]

Ideas as kin

In a recent newsletter about the movement to dismantle the classics, Andrew Sullivan wrote about Martin Luther King Jr.’s syllabus for a seminar he was teaching at Morehouse College in 1962, which included Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Augustine’s City of God—a glimpse of what King believed an educated black man at that time should […]

At the age you are

“I love you at the age you are, and every year you grow / into more the special someone I forever want to know.” — I Love You All Ways by Marianne Richmond I love that line (from a board book that’s in his regular rotation) because it reminds me not to focus on hitting […]

Final lines on second chances

(Spoilers for the films Soul and Driveways, two of my favorites of 2020.) At the very end of Driveways, Brian Dennehy’s elderly Del finds himself recounting a story. He concludes: You know what I wish? I wish me and Eddie were just leaving Joplin this morning. I wish we could do that whole trip all […]

Recent Views

More photography here and on my Instagram. A dusting on the pier at our local park: Just following in Little Man’s footsteps: This is either a failed photo or the perfect encapsulation of Christmas morning with a toddler: Liked the colors and light in our front bushes (which still have Christmas lights on them) while […]

Hernando Columbus at the Sistine Chapel

Edward Wilson-Lee’s The Catalogue of Shipwrecked Books: Christopher Columbus, His Son, and the Quest to Build the World’s Greatest Library is a fascinating book for many reasons. It covers an era of history I’ve rarely visited, so that in itself felt like an adventure. By following the life of Hernando Columbus, the bastard son of […]

Favorite Films of 2020

Along with all the other lamentable things that happened (or didn’t happen) this year due to COVID-19, I mourn the movies I missed out on seeing on the big screen. The last time I was in a theater was in late February to see Little Women, which ended up being my favorite film of 2019. […]

4 lessons from the Trump years

It’s been a tradition on this blog since its inception to do a kind of presidential postmortem for the outgoing commander-in-chief (see Bush and Obama), assessing both the political takeaways and my personal life during their administration. (I planned to publish this on Inauguration Day, but as the actual end date of the Trump administration […]