August reconciliations

This is the month of the test of the gardener. Were I running things I would simply cut August out of the calendar. Richardson Wright, The Gardener’s Bed-Book, 1929 Here I go again, quoting my favorite garden writer. You’d think the man lived next door and looked out...

Confrontation with the truth

I am almost certainly the first person in Lapeer County history to spend time in jail as a result of Kratom use. What is Kratom? Why did I spend 24 hours in the custody of the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department because of it? Both questions are difficult to tackle,...

Heart sings, soul soars in Charlevoix

Right about now, I’m sitting on the pristine sandy beach at Fisherman’s Island State Park, feeling the strong summer breeze coming off of Lake Michigan, smiling like a maniac—chin turned up toward the sky. This is just about as good as it gets. Where my heart sings...

More than one way home

Most every July of my childhood, Dad drove our family to Kentucky for vacation. The summer he couldn’t leave his barbershop, Dad dropped Mom, my sisters, and me off at the Detroit bus station. In Ohio, we boarded a train to Williamson, West Virginia. That meant a...

Relegated to the acceptance of fear

I was the anomaly in a van packed full of orange sardines. The one sardine in regular clothes rather than county-jail-issued uniform. The process of putting one of those uniforms on is humiliating. It involves stripping naked, squatting, coughing, and following the...

Newsworthiness, behind the scenes

Just six more issues to go, and the pendulum keeps swinging. For every—how shall I say—unsavory person I’ve met (such as described last week) there have been 10 amazing individuals to balance the scale. One of them is Doug Hunter. We have a little joke in our office...