The day before Thanksgiving, I had a mediation set for 9am.  A couple hours later, my client and I realized the insurance company was not going to bridge the still-remaining $500,000 gap, so we left.  I checked my phone.  My bride and the 3 small children had been at the pediatrician’s office, and the youngest tested positive for strep throat (she had a fever the night before).  We met for lunch, and I was to take the ill 4-year-old home while the other 2 + their mom went…

Among the pages of captioned color photographs from my 2003 deployment is one that sticks out.  There’s a woman in uniform, not unlike every other picture I have of persons in Iraq.  But then there’s this guy.  He has no BDU t-shirt or DCU pants; he’s in a white cotton button up with rolled sleeves and blue jeans. He’s sitting on a dusty cot next to our tent, his arms out, his lips pursed mid-sentence, and he’s smiling. He’s holding a shawarma wrapped in plastic he’s brought from…

As I pulled my suitcase into the kitchen Sunday morning where the children were having cereal, my 8-year-old daughter asked where I was going. “I’m going to see a friend I made when I was the age you are now.” The stated reason for my trip Sunday afternoon was to see the staged reading of the play “By Wheel and By Wing,” a show whose rights are partially owned by Act 3, a local theater whose board I joined a few months ago.  But I also really wanted…

The 8-year-old started reading the “Harry Potter” books a few months ago; she’s finishing the last installment in the 30-45 minutes of extra awake time we give her after bath time.  Naturally, she wanted to dress like Hermione for Halloween this year.  So, we let her.  But what about the rest of us? Her two younger siblings were not all that excited about dressing like characters from a book and movie they knew nothing about. “There’s a cat in the book.” “A cat?” “Yes!  Hermione has a cat…