April 22, 2018

I’m stuck with a hoarder’s memory.

My brain — my attic, if you will — is entirely too full of random stuff. Entire passages of books I’ve read. Minor details of geography. Lyrics of Broadway show tunes. Odd bits of trivia with little apparent use or connectivity.


Bob Garner

April 22, 2018

My mother died two decades ago, but I have never stopped missing her. During the spring the ache is a bit more acute.

My mother was a wonderful gardener. When Michigan’s icy grip finally gave way to warmer weather she was out the door and working on one of the many flower beds that surrounded…


April 21, 2018

We were born the final year of World War II and, not coincidentally, the year before the Baby Boom began. Our waistlines have thickened and our hairlines thinned, as have, with increasing frequency, our numbers, but we gather in Greenville to commemorate the 55th reunion of the Rose High School…

Tom Campbell.jpg

April 21, 2018

The 2005 minivan rolled a little beyond 200,000 miles and decided that this would be the finish line. The catalytic converter was rattling, the transmission was knocking, and the air conditioner was on the blink — again.

“We have to do something,” said Sharon, who was about to…

Pristine minivan.JPG

April 15, 2018

The April breezes that follow March freezes are just teases for a balloon to wander where it pleases.

To put it in the terms of a homework problem, If a weather balloon leaves Catawba Valley Community College at 9 a.m. on Saturday, where will the payload land?

It’s not a fruitless problem.…


April 15, 2018

“I ask no favor for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is that they take their feet off our necks,” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told me recently in Durham.

The 85-year-old justice had lots to say about her personal struggles as law student, young lawyer looking for…


April 08, 2018

Most of us have heard the phrase, “You can’t win for losing.” It reflects a kind of pessimism that I ordinarily like to shrug off, but there is some truth in the heart of the sentiment.

I have been thinking about that phrase ever since I encountered a bicyclist pedaling down…


April 07, 2018

If only ants were on their menu, stink bugs would make even better house pets.

Our family moved back to Tennessee in 2016 to learn that the Volunteer State apparently had become the stink bug capital of the world while we were gone. After relocating hundreds of them in two years, I have come up…


April 01, 2018

Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday.

I left work early and drove to my daughter’s high school. The radio was on NPR and early details about the school shooting at Parkland were being reported.

It was my daughters’ maiden voyage, the first time they drove to school by themselves. My…


March 31, 2018

A bed is one of the most important purchases you can make for a teenager. It’s where they spend two-thirds of their lives after all.

That might not be an entirely fair assessment, but it’s close.

Our three teenage daughters have been more than fair about the subpar quality of their…

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