To Buy a Book

To Buy a Book

My institutional educational journey began in first grade and continued non-stop for 19 years. Something strange happened to me in year 20.

About the middle of August I had this irresistible urge to go buy a stack of books and start reading them. I suppose 19 years of getting your books and going through them worms its way into your habits.

[Read more…]

Character Association

Character Association

My first car was a red Volkswagen Beetle. My cousin and I co-owned it. The carburetor did not function correctly, and one of us had to sit in the back with the seat removed and work the choke. The engine was in the trunk. We drove the “under repair” vehicle in our backyard, round and round and round, until we were old enough to get a driver’s license. By the time we hit the road, the grass in our backyard had an Indy track dug into it. We had also repaired the carburetor, making a backseat accelerator unnecessary. The little VW was a tough, durable car. I still see them on the road today. And every time my wife sees one, I get punched.

The game was called Punch Buggy. Spotting a VW gave you permission to slug the arm of the person you were with. I much preferred the other VW spotting game—Perdiddle. In this game, if you saw a VW with only one working headlight, you had permission to kiss your date. A VW today can get you kissed or punched. You’re never quite sure which one to expect.

[Read more…]

A Great Christmas Gift

A Great Christmas Gift

What will you give your teenager for Christmas this year?

As parents of three daughters, Denise and I faced that question many times. And when each daughter reached her senior year, we found ourselves looking at funding the next chapter of her story – college. It would be the largest single expense item that we had encountered to date. Our Christmas savings plan would not cover this gift. What do we do? Do we look for the cheapest option, the live-at-home path, the online alternative? Or do we take a deep breath and consider the kind of formation we are purchasing for our child?

[Read more…]