Posts with Category This Writer’s Life

Getting THE GIGGLES at the dermatologist with my wife

Posing as serious adults who would never get The Giggles

“Looks like you have a pimple right here,” the woman placed her finger right in the middle of my wife Annie’s forehead.

Annie and I have been together for 19 years (since high school), and I know there’s nothing my wife loves more than when I point to one of the zits, she so rarely gets, and say, “You have a zit!”  She typically reciprocates by pointing out one of my few flaws.

The woman, a dermatologist, continued to offer her professional opinion of where my perfect wife was less than perfect. She delivered each judgement in the tone of a straight-faced…

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Dear Game of Thrones, I want my life back

I’m five years late to the Game of Thrones series. (Also, I recently watched this amazing series called Breaking Bad. Heard of it?) Since discovering the GOT books late last year, it has consumed my life.

My first GOT experience was with the audible book. George R.R. Martin’s first book Game of Thrones read by Roy Dotrice comes in at 34 hours long. That may seem long until you consider the 3rd book which is 48 hours long. I’m currently eleven hours into book 4 of the series, A Feast of Crows. Add it all up and I’ve spent 130 hours or 5.5 days listening to Game of Thrones books.

I listened on my five minute commute to work, while I showered, while…

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“Are you a Christian?”

I was at a faith-based university and had talked for 50 minutes on our global and local connection with people around the world who make many of the things that we take for granted. I talked about global poverty and introduced the audience to Arifa in Bangladesh who earned $24 per month. I showed pictures of a dump in Cambodia where barefoot kids pick through trash for 25-cents per day. I shared the story of my friend Amilcar, who risked his life for his family traveling from Honduras to the United States riding on top of trains and outrunning bandits who wanted to hold him for ransom.

And “Are you a Christian?” is the…

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636 miles from “The Girl”

“I wish I could do better by you,
’cause that’s what you deserve
You sacrifice so much of your life
In order for this to work.

While I’m off chasing my own dreams
Sailing around the world
Please know that I’m yours to keep
My beautiful girl”

- City and Colour

I’m in Northfield, MN, 636 miles from Muncie. Tomorrow I’ll stand on a stage and share my stories with a few hundred students at Carleton College. None of it would be possible without the girl.

I could be the King of Sap and rule over Sapland with all of my sappiness, but I try to avoid that. Annie is “the girl” for me and she knows it. She allows me to chase my dreams, sail around the world, and I’ll always be hers….

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What 36 feels like

Today I turn 36.

Gone are the mid-decade milestones: the 16s, the 21s, and the 25s (rental car). Now it’s all about the decades, until social security, which will be at least 67, but probably later.

Retirement? Never!

I used to tell my Grandpa Wilt that I graduated college and then retired. That I was living life backwards and traveling while I was full of questions, curiosity, energy, and the capability to sit and stand in one place on buses, planes, and boats for obscene amounts of time.

And when I was working, I was SCUBA diving. I joked that I was going…

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9 Things I learned living 1 week in a college dorm at age 35

Last week I was the guest-in-residence at the University of Illinois’ Allen Hall. In other words, I lived in a dorm.

The last time I moved into a dorm was half my life ago. I turn 36 on Friday, and I was 18 on my last move-in-day. On that day, Mom and Dad moved me into a quad with three other guys. It was cozy, if not awkwardly tight. Our beds nearly touched when we pulled them out of the wall.

That year I played my first drinking game and attended my first frat party. I politely turned down my first joint. I walked in a herd with fellow freshmen because that’s what freshmen did….

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Why I couldn’t see today

Vacationing in South Haven, Michigan

I was driving the family to South Haven, Michigan, for a family vacation when the right side of the world disappeared. It just gradually faded away to nothingness. I decided it would be best if Annie drove.

I sat in the passenger seat, closed my eyes and imagined all the ways I was going to die. Surely it was a stroke. If not that, then an air bubble from the time I got the bends while SCUBA diving had broken loose and was about to kill me.

And then it got better and we were on the beach in Michigan in August, which means we were wearing sweatshirts…

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I’m in Urbana-Champaign all week

This morning while I ate breakfast a strange man walked by the cinnamon rolls wearing only boxers and a T-shirt.  I couldn’t help but stare. Part of me wanted to take a picture.  

Now, I’m really not into men in boxers. I thought maybe I just wasn’t seeing right, and that after a few cups of coffee maybe the site would make sense. We do live in an age of jeggings, skorts, and other portmanteau crossover fashions that a fella from Indiana just can’t quite understand.

But I suppose this is just a normal occurrence of dorm life in Allen Hall at the University of Illinois.

Still, I stared. Was he wearing…

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The Thank You notes that I carry & carry me

Last week I Skyped with a class at the Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills, Kentucky, that read WHERE AM I WEARING? I’m always happy to Skype with classes reading one of my books. I often do these Q&A sessions for $0, but payment comes in many forms.

Last night after returning from two days in Ferguson seeding a Facing Project, a package from the class was waiting on me. There were pajamas for the kids because I shared that each night after bath I have Harper check the made in label on her pajamas. There was a moleskine with an awesome quote followed by a message from Amanda Staggs, the class’s teacher.

 

Every gift was thought out and full of meaning. It’s…

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Harper at 2,190 days old

“It’s my birthday!” Harper announced in our bedroom at 2 AM.

Today Harper turns 6. And you gotta respect her enthusiasm for the day and for life in general. A month from now, I’ll be 36 (I’m Harper +30), and I’ll want to sleep in on my birthday

But I’m younger now than I was before she arrived.

I read children’s books about talking animals and magic. We’re also making our way through the Harry Potter series.

I color, still not very well. There is something really meditative about it.

We pick on Annie together.

We crack toot jokes more than we should.

We play hide and seek and tag.

We go on bike rides.

We giggle.

We sing duets from Frozen.

We have dance parties.

We play video games. About a year ago we started playing…

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