Category Archives: Family

The Until We Meet Again Tour – 29 July 2016, part 2

The Until We Meet Again Tour involved an evening walk from the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations to New York City Center. There my son Sean joined me to see God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, a musical based on the Kurt Vonnegut novel of the same name. James Earl Jones played the role of Kilgore Trout.

During the intermission, I noted to Sean that once again I had chosen a play that might be described as non-traditional. He replied that at least this one had a somewhat linear plot. He further noted that this was the first collaboration by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken with the result that the music and lyrics were well done.


See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Family, Music, New York, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

The Until We Meet Again Tour – 22 July 2016 – birthday edition

The  Until We Meet Again Tour took an interesting turn on this birthday.

The plan had been to go to the office to do some more cleaning and packing for the move.

Yesterday afternoon, however, my colleagues in the organization Ecumenical Women found themselves without a facilitator for a retreat. Would I help them out, they asked. Of course I said yes. I thought I might go to Riverside Park for a bit after the retreat ended.

The retreat was held at 475 Riverside Drive, right around the corner from the Shire. It ended at 1:00 but conversation lasted until 4:30.

Walking back to the Shire, I realized how oppressive the heat was today, and may be the rest of the weekend.

I went to the gym around 6:00 as planned. After the workout, I decided I did not want to do the heat. I ordered dinner.

And then began watching The Lord of the Rings films. That’s usually a Christmas activity with Tricia and Eric, Sean passes, but we did not find time for it last Christmas.

With the city under a heat advisory most of the day tomorrow, this seemed like a moment when I might have time to watch all three. The Balrog just grabbed Gandalf. We’ll see where things end up.

And there was cake today as my colleagues celebrated my birthday, singing twice.

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See you along the Trail.


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Filed under Family, Food, Friends, Movie, New York, Photo

Purple flowers – Arthur Ashe statue


4 June 2016
Richmond, Virginia

In Richmond for Eric’s graduation from Union Presbyterian Seminary, we went to see the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue. Purple flowers grew around the base.

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The competition

As I completed my work out at the Gym at the Shire and prepared to mount the elevator to return to the Shire itself, I noticed some of the others using the gym. Treadmills pounded; weight machines clanked. Grunts and sighs and snippets of conversation filled the air.

I briefly watched a younger man, much younger than me, struggle to do exercises I can do easily. And for a moment, I felt accomplished.

Then a woman, not young but not as old as me, smoothly moved into a headstand. Her ease and grace reminded me of the struggle I sometimes have just to stand on my feet. And for a moment, I despaired and thoughts of giving up filled my head.

For a moment. Only a moment.

The moment quickly passed and I realized as I exercise I do not compete with those who are ahead or with those who are behind, those who can do more or those who can do less. It is a journey of self-care. It is a competition with myself, with that voice in my head that tells me I can’t. And every time I make it through, every time I do something more, something new, I win.

And with support of family, trainer, friends, I have many wins. And more will come.

See you along the Trail.

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Remembered smiles

I know this day well; I never forget it; it invariably sneaks up on me and grabs me unaware; and when I pause for a moment to reflect, I remember why things feel so raw. After all these years. And then I smile.

People have been posting on Facebook about remembering this day because of the Challenger disaster. I remember that. 

But I remember this day for an event that took place twelve years before the Challenger. An event that also claimed the lives of educators.

Forty years ago this day,  on January 28, 1974, William Koenig climbed into a small plane with another educator from Grove City. They planned a trip to Harrisburg, the state capitol, where they were to advocate for funds for the Grove City Public School system. At the time of his death, Bill worked as the assistant superintendent for the Grove City Public School system. But he was a musician. He played string bass in the pit orchestra for the high school musicals. He directed the town band. He was a tennis player. He was a photographer. He was also a private pilot. Though they had tickets on a commercial airline, the two colleagues decided Bill would fly. The plane went down near Emlenton, Pennsylvania, the crash site only located the next day. When I arrived at JFK a day later, after a college choir trip to Europe, family members met me and broke the news and shattered my heart.

Because grief lasts, I raise a glass to remember loses and acknowledge pains. And because love never ends, I raise a glass to give thanks and to celebrate love shared past, present, and future.  On this anniversary, I raise a glass to William Koenig, to his life, to the time, the far too short time, we shared. To all I learned. To laughter and tears. To music made well and badly. To a multitude of remembered smiles.

Goodnight and joy be with you, Dad.

Goodnight and joy be with us all.

See you along the Trail.

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Purple quadupus


Henrik’s toy has four legs – always has.
And it is purple!
24 December 2015
Cleveland Heights, OH

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December 24, 2015 · 4:15 pm

The time is now

Nicole Kung, NK Body Philosophy:
 It isn’t the falling that matters. It’s the getting back up.

Alfred Pennyworth: Why do we fall sir? So we might learn to pick ourselves up
Bruce Wayne: You still haven’t given up on me?
Alfred Pennyworth: Never.

In my efforts at self-care, I have fallen often.

I have learned  how to pick my self up.IMG_3419

Family and friends, long-time and new, have never given up on me.

As the year comes to a close, with holidays and football games and all sorts of challenges ahead, I begin again. Again. The time is now (also from Nicole).

As in the recent past, I will attempt to post results on Steps along the Trail. You are welcome to follow. Or not.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Exercise, Family, Food, Friends