relationships

2021 February

Even the Son of God had family complications

2021-02-21T09:03:17-05:00February 21st, 2021|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

It’s the other day and I’m on the phone with a friend in the Cayman Islands. The conversation turns to family. Family, what we celebrated earlier this week. Of course, some of us might as well celebrate the finer points of being an executed outlaw. Sort of like in Manitoba, where, in place of February’s Family Day, they celebrate Louis Riel Day.  Just saying.

2020 September

Finding Grace (and grace) in our lives

2020-09-06T07:52:15-04:00September 5th, 2020|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |8 Comments

Grace, the Sheepadoodle, is a small dog with big feet who’s happiest when she’s running full-throttle, wild and wide-eyed, tripping over herself down some hill. She’s a dog who knows that life, even in dog years, is so short that there’s no time to waste, even if there’s no place to go

2020 February

Settling for only the best

2020-06-20T07:42:27-04:00February 15th, 2020|Categories: Newspaper columns, The Standard|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This column is about UCU’s new, yet-to-be-named vice- chancellor. But first let me tell you about the Ugandan who was happy to tell me about his recent marriage.“ Congratulations,” I said, before asking, “How old are you?” “Thirty.” I said congratulations again. “That’s a good age.” Then, like a good counsellor

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,

2019 February

The fragrance of (my) life

2019-02-16T07:58:28-05:00February 9th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |9 Comments

So I'm in the middle of Africa dining with a colleague and he declares, "That's great news about Jean. Congratulations!" Out comes his phone and all the details and I'm in the dark and feeling rather sheepish about it. My bride, the children's mother, in her natural humility, hadn't told me of her recent recognition as a Canadian

2016 August

In honour of my father and his well-lived life

2016-09-21T10:16:18-04:00August 27th, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, August 27, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It was a different time and place on the day I watched another human being die in my father’s arms. I was just a boy. Bert had epileptic seizures, medically uncontrollable then. Tall and lanky, he’d crumple and fall hard on the floor in the house, or outside under the apple tree, or in places between, shaking, convulsing, rigid as a board. I’d watch. All the time. Bert lived with us.

2016 July

An anniversary wish to the music of my life

2016-09-21T10:17:32-04:00July 29th, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |10 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Friday, July 29, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ It's a warm and ordinary day, warm and ordinary enough to run around in shorts and bare feet. The children's mother, your babe, that is your bride, is playing your song. The cats are in front and the dog's in back and the kids are doing homework and nothing much is happening, except this song from the piano in the other room, the piece that makes your blood jump every time.