Hamilton Spectator

2019 August

Happiness is right here

2019-08-04T21:30:10-04:00August 4th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , |0 Comments

The funny thing is that it’s some of the ridiculously cold countries – the freeze the snot on your nose northern nations – that are the happiest. This is what they say. You know. “They.” I just read a report on it. I don’t know. I prefer the beach, myself. Child Number 2, the laughing boy, told me the other morning about a beach in Mexico. “I want to go there,” he said.

2019 July

Waking up to the shortness of life

2019-07-15T14:25:28-04:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |14 Comments

I’m gardening with my son, the cool, wet dirt between our fingers. I think of John, my friend, a fellow traveller, recently dead of cancer. He’s still somehow, seen. Still felt. Funny how that goes, how you often miss what’s right in front of you. Then, when you take the time to pause, the smelling salts of life get you to sit up and do what your mother always told you: pay attention!

2019 June

The upside of having your wallet stolen

2019-07-13T00:03:15-04:00June 22nd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |2 Comments

The latest news from this corner is that my wallet, soggy and laden with earth beetles, was found in a neighbour’s rock garden. The phone call came. “Are you Thomas Froese?” “Yes.” “I have your wallet.” It was handed to me in a plastic bag. Hard to say if this is good news or bad. It’s like someone finding a body.

2019 June

On funny ideas, stewardship, and the bambino’s Sweet 16th

2019-07-13T00:00:10-04:00June 8th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

It was a gift from Oma and Opa, an outfit for the little bambino, the newborn, and this is what it said: “Property of Mommy and Daddy.” The photo landed in this space. Sixteen years ago. It’s like clothing announcing that you’re “Property of the Toronto Raptors.” Everyone knows you’re not, just like everyone knows that parents don’t own their

2019 May

Musing (and moodling) from the world of words

2019-07-13T00:01:13-04:00May 25th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Today let’s talk about the liberal arts, and, in particular, words. This, because the Conference Board of Canada recently affirmed that the liberal arts are vital when it comes to preparing for the work world, if not life itself. Universities tracking these things are saying the same. It’s refreshing news because to have a degree in say, literature

2019 May

The holiness of motherhood

2019-08-04T21:35:04-04:00May 11th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

There’s something holy about motherhood. My father’s tears remind me. My wife’s steadiness reminds me. Even my mother, in her long absence, reminds me.There we are sitting in a meadow in Berlin. A large book is on my lap. My mother is teaching me to read. We’re enjoying each other. She tickles me.My pant suspenders – I always laugh when

2019 April

If you die in space, are you alone?

2019-04-09T10:00:47-04:00April 6th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , |8 Comments

It was a question after dinner. The kids asked me. “So, Dards, if it were possible, would you rather know exactly how you’ll die, or when you’ll die?”“Hmm,” I said. (Always a good response for such questions.) “I don’t know.” (Even better.) What I know is that, like many others, I’d rather not die alone. Imagine dying alone

2019 March

Hey, let’s talk about sex!

2019-06-20T14:06:51-04:00March 23rd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

In a few days the children’s mother and I are at a marriage retreat. It’s our first since I can’t remember when. The invitation, by fluke, came a day after I was propositioned to have an affair. Now, in this space, I don’t talk much about it, sex and all. This is because Mennonites didn’t even know what sex was until 1985,