Haunted Houses & Bars of Orion

Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m 14 years old. Which is my typical maturity level, but no, I’m referring to the other cognitive signposts of that age. Take pickleball for instance.  As I compete in pickleball tournaments and the competitive juices flow, I feel 14 years old once more. Seven matches later, I realize I’m…

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Tell me your life story in 4 minutes

Tell me your life story in 4 minutes. This is a question I have been asking my friends and family. Their first reaction is stunned silence, a deer in headlights. Then slowly, the wheels begin to turn and they speak, measured and careful words, maneuvering around covered landmines. The years roll away and they become…

Kitchen of Grace

People ask me, "What are you doing in Denver?" I tell them I'm helping Karen Taylor and Tammy Ross cook 700 meals for our youth group from Bartlesville, with very little refrigerator space which means I'm on a first name basis with grocery clerks on Colorado avenue. In the midst of cooking, washing dishes, and…

Singing with Al Green

Karen and I were driving through Wisconsin farmland a couple of years ago, and I was overcome by pastoral splendor although it may have been too many cheese curds. I began singing America the Beautiful, like Ray Charles, because after all, my middle name is Ray. I’ve always loved that song. It’s not ambivalent, it resolves,…

What I’ve learned eating pie

We decided to get away this past weekend, so we visited our friends, Rick and Belinda, in Fayetteville. We watched the fleeting colors of autumn scatter underfoot as we walked the farmer's market at the old town square looking at beautiful vegetables and contrarian havens of high gluten pastry. Karen grew up in the Garden…