My Radiometer

I can’t say how my life would have turned out had it been cloudy the day my fourth grade class visited the Peabody Museum in New Haven Connecticut. I certainly wouldn’t be standing here looking out my kitchen window at a honey locust tree, a trampoline, and a little boy, a world away from where… Read more

Dry Paint

Some years back I learned the chemistry of drying — paints and oils and sweat — and knowing that stuff matters plenty if you’re engineering or inventing or experimenting, but it don’t mean a whit when you’re joining and polishing maple and walnut and cherry and holly and good old fashioned oak into a little… Read more

About Time

My grandfather did a lot of my raising and my son was born a hundred years after him, nearly to the day, give or take a couple weeks. On a timeline that long, a couple weeks isn’t more than a cup of morning coffee. I stand in between them, a bit closer to my boy’s… Read more

The Lawnmower

It occurred to me last week that one day soon Noodle will have his first day of school and I’ll be a proud papa, misty-eyed holding his hand, and he his lunchbox, down the path to his first classroom. The moment I let go and he walks through the door with his friends, everything changes.… Read more

Silver Linings

As storms roll out past the setting sun, the gray clouds brighten at the edges, an orange green lighting the spring grass, twinkling in Noodle’s eyes. He shouts and points with both hands: “Look! Mirror clouds!” I warn him it looks like rain and we might have to take our parade inside if cats and… Read more

Clouds & Dreams

Yesterday the clouds were a line of bunnies running with a birthday cake. Lately, Noodle exercises his eyes, notices distances, and writes fables into the sky. He’s becoming a dreamer. And he’s taken to creating characters and conversations in the creatures and the places we visit. One sunny winter day, we took him to Ambury… Read more

Would You Love Me?

On the car ride back from his cousins’ house, well past bedtime, his face glowing in the pale low-pressure sodium lights outside the turnpike toll plaza, Noodle asked whether we would still love him if he lost a hand. I checked the rearview to see if he was giggling out a cheeky ruse, but he… Read more

Standing Still

In his Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy says “a mans at odds to know his mind cause his mind is aught he has to know it with.” I used to share this sentiment, but I find I’m growing further from it these days. More and more my little boy expresses traits I wasn’t equipped to perceive in… Read more


In six weeks on the road I collected a book full of notes and a few dramatic photos, I ate, drank, visited, toured, drove, rode, flew, hiked, canoed, dreamed, pondered, wondered, felt elation, disappointment, numbness, and unfathomably intense stimulation. I’ve been to cities and towns and deserts and lakes and rivers and oceans and islands… Read more


Seems that everybody wants to be at the mercy of something. Whether rules, or limits, or comfort in standards and certainty, I never feel quite right in the company of constraint. Of course I realize that you’ve got to know the rules before you break them — get them in your bones then let them go snap.… Read more