Reflections of a Southern Yankee: Southern Comfort

Forty-three of my 49 years on God’s green earth have been spent below the Mason-Dixon line. I guess that makes me more “Rebel” than “Yankee.” I’d like to think I’ve been able to display the best attributes of both cultures. I tell it like it is while still maintaining the gentleman persona. I’ve tried to […]

White (Pine) Christmas

Until the age of seven, all I’d ever known was an artificial Christmas tree in my grandparents’ living room. Every year, a large box would be brought up from the cellar (we call them cellars up north) and magically, a tree would appear in front of the large picture window. First, the fake tree was […]

It’s Elementary

I walked through the front door of Stuarts Draft Elementary School a shy, timid six-year-old. My kindergarten year at Wetmore Elementary School in Utica, New York, was more of a blur than anything. Honestly, my mind wasn’t really in the right frame to be educated. Having just said farewell to my grandparents the previous summer, […]

I Miss the ‘80s

Once every seven days, we stopped what we were doing to intently listen to a man with the perfect radio voice countdown the Top 40 hits of the week. Would Madonna hold on to that top spot? Or would Michael Jackson be crowned king again? Thinking back on it now, I’m amazed we had the […]

Growing Love

As I begin my 49th journey around the sun, I find myself reminiscing more and more about the sweeter and simpler times in my life. It’s something I think about a lot, especially with all the madness of the past few years. But I digress. After my adoption in March of 1980, my life was […]

Gerti’s Lane

As I look back on 49 years of life, I can see many different roads in my past. Some of those roads were high-speed interstates where the years flew by in a blur of teaching, coaching, raising two boys, soccer games, Boy Scouts and all of the other typical activities involved with raising a family. […]

Thank You for Your Service

I was in the lobby of the hotel in San Antonio getting coffee. It was still extremely early in the morning, and the only other soul up and about was the front desk receptionist. As I pushed down the handle to allow the liquid gold to pour into my paper cup, the doors to the […]


Even after my adoption, my paternal grandmother would regularly send me care packages from upstate New York to my new home in Virginia.  As an adult, I’m much more aware now of the anguish she and my grandfather must have gone through knowing their own child (my father) had failed miserably at being a parent. […]

Reflections of a Southern Yankee First-World Problem

I opened the door to my dryer and reached inside for an article of clothing. My hand closed around a shirt—a shirt that was cold and wet like a dog’s nose. Ugh!  Immediately, I knew the heating element in “Old Reliable” had finally died. I was disappointed in Whirlpool more than I usually would have […]


Shattered. I stood shattered in my disbelief, looking down at my life in a million pieces strewn across the floor. It wasn’t the first time. And it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Isn’t that how life works, anyway? It’s impossible to get through it without the cataclysmic events that we never see coming, but are […]