Night, Pop

’Night Pop, it’s your watch. I’m headed out,” I say aloud. Though it’s been three years since he died, I still do this sometimes at the end of my office day, and especially when it’s been a long hard one. I lean over the forward hatch of the model of Phyllis and peer down and [...]

The Key to Unlocking the Guilt

When the boats were all put away for the winter, and before the crocuses broke through to signal the coming of spring, the grandfather decided to build a grandfather clock. “An old style clock, with a slow swinging pendulum just seems appropriate, given where your mother and I are in life,” he’d said. He’d built [...]

Toto, We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

The closest I have ever come to a tornado was on the Mississippi River in St. Paul one summer years ago. I was captaining a sternwheel-driven river cruise ship at the time, and on this particular trip we were loaded with a band, dinner, a giant wedding cake, one groom, one bride, 400 guests, a [...]