The Canvas

My daughter Emily led me by the hand into the entry way of our home. “Dad, what do you think?” I looked up and could hardly believe my eyes. It’s amazing what a little tape, construction paper and a whole lot of creativity can do. Oh, I knew something was going on. I was watching the game in the next room and I could hear the tape dispenser working overtime. It seemed between every tackle, every touchdown, a loud riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip echoed from the stairwell. Little did I know that my house was being transformed into a Dr. Seuss book. By the time she was finished, our once simple high ceiling and boring beige walls had morphed into a dazzling display …

The Day The World Stood Still

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 The pediatrician was taking a long time to come into the narrow, windowless room where my wife and I were desperately trying to keep our 18-month old daughters occupied. “Where is he?” we wondered. It was just before 9 a.m. Finally, a nurse came in. “Sorry for the delay,” she said. “Doctor is in his office watching the news. A plane hit the World Trade Center in New York.” And so it began. Less than an hour later, we were in the car heading home. I turned on the local radio news station. We learned that a second plane hit the South Tower, a third plane crashed into the Pentagon, and there were early reports of …

The Choice Is Yours

The quality of your life is a direct result of the choices you make My mother-in-law is one of the wisest and (not surprisingly) contented people I have ever been around. The reason? She knows that life is a series of choices, you make good ones, and you make bad ones. That’s it and that’s all. Sometimes I wonder what she’s thinking. Seriously, I can’t tell. She has that sly smile that suggests she has it all figured out. I think her favorite phrase is, “Oh, well!” Here is a fact: You are where you are because of the choices you’ve made. I am where I am because of the choices I’ve made. This goes for everyone regardless of their …

Pray for our Kids

One snowy morning in a small Pennsylvania town, a high-speed train came thundering down the rails from Boston en route to Washington. It swiftly cut through the cold air reaching speeds upwards of 110 mph. 16-year-old Gina and her best friend, 15-year-old Vanessa, hurried onto the tracks as the speeding train quickly approached. The whistle frantically sounded and the girls didn’t move. They hugged. And that was it. This morning, I watched as my daughters left for school on their bikes. “Bye daddy!” they yelled as they slowly rode off, their little legs gradually picking up speed. I stood in the driveway. My eyes never left them as they grew smaller and smaller in the distance. I have never loved …

Life Song

On my neighbor’s small porch there sets a small bench. I never paid too much attention to it before. It faded into the background of life’s canvas like so many things do. But today, I’m thinking a lot about that bench. It’s quiet today; especially today. My neighbor’s name is Bill; perfect really, a simple name for a simple man. Bill is almost 80 years old. He speaks with a southern drawl that’s as thick as his glasses. Like that old small bench, he’s a bit weathered but still strong. His laugh is contagious. I liked him right away. He’s the neighbor everyone should have. Need a wrench, an extension cord, a screwdriver? Check with Bill. For years I have …