The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Category: General

Afraid of the Shadow

Groundhog Day has come and gone. This year the little-rat-bastard saw his shadow implying six more weeks of the dark and dreary cold of which many are weary. Now I know that few people actually, truly, believe that some overgrown ground dwelling squirrel can actually predict a seasonal shift with any meteorological certainty, however the […]

A House of Cards

Looking for inspiration this morning, I began reading and came across an essay by Ali Schultz in which she wrote the following: As we bury ourselves in “busy,” devote ourselves to mountains of purpose and strive — overtly or subtly — for external fiscal, material, social markers of success, we hold our deck of cards […]

New Strings; New Song

Four days into the new year and we got our first snow day. Two snow days actually. The day before the storm, as is typical in Rhode Island, shoppers headed to one of two places — Stop and Shop and Home Depot. Occasionally, I’d imagine people will hit both. Milk and bread from one; generators, […]

Big Dummy’s Revelation

Monday morning. I’m in my 8 AM composition class sitting behind a raised computer desk talking about systems. Here’s the thing — on this day I made a great cup of tea in my 21 ounce stainless steel travel mug. Before leaving the house I let steep one bag of decaf English Breakfast and one regular […]

Acceptance, meet Reluctance

So it happened: this week I turned 50. How the hell did that happen? I don’t really “feel” any different, or more grown up. I keep waiting for wisdom to descend from up on high, but that appears unlikely. Probably for the best. Chasing that need for wisdom, I realize there are a great many things in […]

Effortless Effort?

I screwed up my knee. For the past three weeks running has been painful. Equally painful is the fact that the registration deadline for the half-marathon came and went on June 30th. True I can still register and run the race in October as planned — a birthday gift to myself which I announced months […]

Farewell Ninja Mouse

I’m a killer. Not the pathologically homicidial kind found on “Criminal Minds”, nor am I the quasi-accidental kind from “How To Get Away with Murder”. No, I am a killer of mice. “Why is there a dead mouse outside,” my wife asked as she headed off for a run. “I’m leaving him there as a […]

Weary World

ecology and responsibility

Mother Earth has been at this a rather long time. According to science roughly 4.5 billion years. That’s a long workday. A myriad of natural systems working night and day, day and night with little rest. No weekends; no holidays. Just constant toil to keep the balance just so. And her reward? Condos. Well, not […]

64 Days? That’s it? Oy vey!

This isn’t like me… For the first time in my adult life, I am actually rooting for a politician, a president, to fail. I’ve never felt this way before and I grew up in the Reagan years — which oddly enough many seen to pine nostalgically for. Some want to blame government for the muck […]

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

If you had seen him for yourself, you’d likely dispute his fantasticalness. He was worn, thin with a faded and thinning coat, ashen nose, dark and darting eyes, and… no tail.  Yes, his tail was missing.   Because of this I decided he was indeed a fantastic fox. Last week our dog Beckham, a Welsh Corgi […]

The Specter of Sacrifice

I forgot Ash Wednesday. No big surprise; I forgot last year too. I probably could have swung into the church I only haphazardly attend. I dropped my daughter off at school for 7 am so I could have stopped in… but I didn’t. So begins a stretch of 40 days and nights where my family […]

Time See What’s Become of Me

Mother Nature has a bit of a cruel streak when it comes to New England weather. Last week she dumped 14 inches of snow on us and today she come back with another 3-5. My wife checks weather on her phone and says with regret, “Well, I guess this isn’t actually going to keep me […]

Peeing on the Buddha

We have this stone buddha in our yard. We bought him when we got our first house in Providence. That house was built in the early-1900s by some rich old Italian who owned a sausage shop. In the back yard, surrounded by roses bushes was an empty pedestal. The old Italian likely had a whitewashed statue […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

A Good Room

This room is a good room. We call it the family room, not because it is the room that holds the family most often but because that’s what the builder’s plans called it. This room is not the living room. The living room is at the front of the house, across from the dining room […]

A Small Good Thing in Times Like These

Recently I began baking bread and I can’t really explain why. I have always wanted to bake bread and it seemed something very primal, simple and pure. So I started baking bread, focaccia to be precise. After that, I decided I could tackle making loaves of white bread for toasting and sandwiches. How hard could […]

Let them Be

According to a recent study out of MIT, your friends don’t like you. You’ve probably already suspected as much. Your family probably doesn’t like you all that much either, they just tolerate you because of the shared DNA and the money you owe them. This MIT study suggests that, at least in terms of friendship, […]

Slow Learner

For months I have been struggling in yoga class with certain poses, one of them being “half moon”. Consistently I have fallen out of this pose, much like several others that plague me — eagle pose, warrior three, crow pose and wheel. But for what ever reason half moon pose has become one of the […]

Growing Season

My front yard now inspires me. This had not been the case prior to last Friday. For years the front of our house has been a mess. On one side of the front porch the pine tree that started out small was crowding out the Pee Gee hydrangea, as well as encroaching on the corner […]

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