travel

2020 January

FaceTime during African sunrises and other musings

2020-04-18T23:45:55-04:00January 25th, 2020|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This morning I FaceTimed the family. Child Number 1, a musical girl, was having sinus pain. So I looked up there and noticed Taylor Swift and a hall of high school girls having a party. Looks like they'd moved from my daughter's inner ear. I suggested this may be causing her pain,

2019 December

Once upon a time there was you, and me

2020-01-31T14:43:34-05:00December 23rd, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |4 Comments

The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying, that being lost is no fun.

2019 July

Waking up to the shortness of life

2019-07-15T14:25:28-04:00July 13th, 2019|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |16 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!

2017 June

Wherever we are, we all need grace in our lives

2017-07-24T23:05:32-04:00June 30th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.

2016 September

We live with our parents, even when we don’t

2017-05-26T18:12:23-04:00September 17th, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, September 17, 2016) ABOARD KLM FLIGHT 535 TO UGANDA ✦ I’ve always envied people who could watch their mothers grow old. My mother, I’ve shared previously, passed on when I was in kindergarten. I hadn’t seen her for two years prior to that. Funny to think of it here, half asleep at 40,000 feet.

2016 June

Wrong seat. Wrong country. No phone. No mouse.

2017-05-03T17:24:15-04:00June 1st, 2016|Categories: Daily Dad|Tags: , , , , , , |1 Comment

So, I just filled out Canada’s most recent census, barely beating the May 31 deadline and thus staying out of jail and fulfilling this duty of those of us living in this great country. Before letting me go, the questionnaire asked if I or anyone in the family would mind if all the sordid details [...]

2016 May

The mouse and the dishwasher

2017-05-26T18:13:14-04:00May 20th, 2016|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, May 20, 2016) HAMILTON, CANADA ✦ So it's the middle of the night and my wife walks into the bedroom and says: "There's a mouse in the dishwasher." This is strange even for our household, the sort of announcement that suggests my wife is hallucinating from working way too late, again, or that I'm having one of those dreams.