41. From the Jaws of Death

In action films and television shows, characters often narrowly escape death through clever maneuvers, split-second decisions, and amazing timing. In real, ordinary life, how often do each of us come within the reach of death’s icy fingers? And are we still alive because of good luck, coincidence, or miracle? Those questions came up recently as […]

40. The Control Mirage

The other day I had to shake my head as I watched a video news clip on television. A foolish old man in a black mask had left his hospital room to wave frantically to well-wishers from a limousine. Then he returned to his hospital room. It was his way of showing that he controlled […]

39. Too Much

The other day, as my wife and I drove around town, we passed an old shopping center that has been inactive for about 10 years. In the meantime, other properties have been developed for shopping centers, meaning that swaths of trees have been torn out, grass has been plowed under, and concrete has been lain […]

38. Uncomfortable

Have you ever felt uncomfortable in the presence of someone else? No doubt we have all felt that way a few times in our lives. The sensation is particularly unpleasant when you realize that you have walked into the middle of a marital battle. Once, my wife visited some friends, a husband and wife. This […]

37. Dealing With Disaster – Part 2

On November 23, 1980, I was walking to a bus stop to return to my hometown, which was a 10-minute ride up a mountainside. I was just a few meters from the bus stop when the ground shook violently. The street cracked open. Buildings trembled. Shattered window glass rained down. People screamed and ran in […]

36. Dealing With Disaster – Part 1

For this post on disaster and its aftermath, my wife can tell her story better than I can. The day was sunny, the air crisp, the temperature perfect. It was my second day arriving at work after a whirlwind tour of Italy. I was just about to enter the converted bank where my office was […]

35. Where Is Home?

When my wife and I married, we spent the first few months in the house that she had proudly bought for herself. She sold that house and we bought another one many miles away, closer to my younger sister and her family. We have been in this house now for nearly two decades. The other […]

34. Lessons on Perspective

Lately, I have been on edge about many things. I feel trapped in my home by SARS-CoV-2, angry that I cannot go to Italy when I want or just visit with friends and family. My wife and I have been talking a lot about keeping things in perspective. She believes that arrogance and a sense […]

33. For Love of Money – Part 2

This is a story about greed and how greed within a family can affect generations that come later. Let’s say that it happened in Southern Italy, in the family of “Domenico.” More precisely, the story begins with his mother’s family. Her grandparents owned several pieces of valuable farmland. As a result, they were able to […]

32. The Resentment Piranha

I have been struggling for a while with resentment toward a family member. The feeling stems from my view that this person has unfairly treated another relative who is vulnerable and not well. If my words of caution had been followed years ago, the vulnerable family member would be in a much better situation, of […]


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