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The Last First Day

August 24, 2017. 

And so it is done. The last first day of walking to school. I can now say with some certainty what the distance is between kindergarten and 5th grade - astonishingly short.

We began this journey 6…

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"I Have Outlived My Imaginings" (Essay)

July 25, 2017. It truly is a wonderful thing to wake up in the morning. Another day of life, never guaranteed, always expected. But in the era of social media, it is especially so on one's birthday.

It is heartening…

"Strawberry Fields Forever" (Essay)

June 21, 2017. The connection between my electric guitar and one of my favorite fruits

Music has always been in my house. I suppose it was inevitable that I would play guitar, and probably the only reason I didn't start…

"The Genes and the Gift" (Essay)

June 20, 2017. Most certainly an AnceStory of unintended consequences and lifelong implications.

My parents, sister and I just returned from the trip of a lifetime, the "Last Great Nuclear Family Vacation" - a 16-day odyssey to the homelands of…

Leprechaun by the Sea

"Paddy," I asked of my companion, "what do you think of when you look out there across the sea?"

I had met this gentle soul a little farther back down the road towards Donegal town on the way to the…

For Alyssa-san

Long ago in what feels like a galaxy far far away, I went to grad school at UMass to be an Environmental Engineer. My first year I lived in Northampton in an apartment, and right at the beginning of the…

An AnceStory in Scotland

Where to begin on this just completed, epic nuclear family odyssey to Ireland and Scotland? It was partly my discoveries in our family history that got my dad excited to go. And he being the type who likes to plan…

"What a Year Can Bring" (Essay)

May 25, 2017. Reflecting on a year's anniversary, with love to cousin Lee and a toast to Aunt Margaret

I am flying into the sunrise, soon to land in Dublin. Sometime during this crossing of the Atlantic we have crossed…

A Madeleine Rose

Our daughter shares her birthday with my grandparents (Madeleine and Andrew) anniversary on this date in 1926. They were a huge part of my life, and continue to be today.

Along with tons of other plants over the decades, Grandma…

"The Giving Garden" (Essay)

For those with absolutely no interest in coaxing green things out of dark dirt and wonder "why do they do it?" as well as those with green thumbs or obsessive orchid disorder.

May 1st is always a bit of a…

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DNA Day?

So today is #DNADay. We live in amazing times. In the 1950s Watson and Crick first described the crazy macro molecule that carries everything about living species wrapped up in a double helix. A few years ago a massive effort…

Lilacs in the Air, or in the Genes?

I've always loved lilacs. We used to have a large lilac bush at our old place on Snickersville Turnpike. I've been known to clip a couple when I've been on the road and stick them in a water bottle to…