Decoration Day

Memorial Day used to be Decoration Day, a day set aside to decorate the graves of those killed in war. Originally, it was the thirtieth of May. Since then, of course, Congress has changed the name and institutionalized the date so it falls on the last Monday of May....

Lilacs, My Favorite Flower

My favorite flower? Lilacs. Definitely lilacs. Partly because of that overwhelming fragrance but mostly because that special perfume and the delicate poetry of lilac blossoms always carry me back in time to a particular summer when life was absolutely perfect. The...

Back Into the Crawl Space

It’s called a crawl space for a reason. Crawling is the only way you can get around when you are down there. You move on your hands and knees at best, more often on your stomach or your back, propelled along by digging your elbows into the ground. I spent pretty much...

Spring Cleaning – Grandma Style

Does anybody do spring cleaning anymore? I’m talking about the old-fashioned, strip-the-house-and-scrub-everything kind that my grandmother tortured the entire family with back in the thirties and forties. Grandpa insisted that Grandma got a certain twinkle in her eye...

Remembering the Berlin Air Lift

One of the most heroic efforts of World War II happened almost two years after the war ended. The Berlin airlift operated for only 11 months, but is credited with saving the lives of nearly 3 million people in a city devastated by the war. When Germany surrendered,...

Barbara and Tim Conway

(From the “PEOPLE” section of my book, page 220)   My wife’s sister has made it to the big time, sort of. At the very least she has received the fifteen minutes of fame that pop artist Andy Warhol predicted everyone on earth would get sometime during...