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Austria: Little Victories

on July 29th, 2014 by mark

As I write this, I’m sitting in the morning sun that comes in through the blinds to the living room. I’ve poured the first cup of coffee this morning and I can’t help but reminisce. Coffee, like almost all of the food stuffs on this trip, was one of our favorite things in the Englisch […]

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Austria: Houses of the Holy

on July 26th, 2014 by mark

Today’s post will deal with the more non-tangible, and yet infinitely beautiful, portion of the trip to Austria, Hungary and the U.K. From the complex history that embodies Austria (“ist nicht schwarze, ist nicht weisse,”–it’s not black and it’s not white, as Rainer would say to me) to the myriad churches we visited, there was […]

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Bread, Beer and Europe.

on July 25th, 2014 by mark

I’m home now. I miss bread. I miss beer. I miss Europe. This is the first of a number of posts after many days of tossing and turning over how I was ever going to post about the longest vacation my family and I ever took to Austria, Hungary and the U.K. We’d never been […]

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Home Sweet…ah, nevermind.

on June 30th, 2014 by mark

Summer begins this year with less heraldry than most years. Mostly, I’m reminded again of letting go of things; my journalism class seniors, who I miss every day, my routine of daily early rising and go get ‘em attitude from 5:30 am on. I’m still rising early, 6:30 or so most days-and still I form […]

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Monstro

on June 11th, 2014 by mark

Monstro came to us in 1999. No kids at that point and on the verge of getting a dog, we had fish. Had. Within a few short months, he ate all his tankmates. I’ve written about him before and I thought I’d be more poetic. I’m too exhausted–it’s a busy time of year. He was […]

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That was Then…

on June 1st, 2014 by mark

I awoke this morning earlier than perhaps I would have liked. I took yesterday off entirely after having been out late with my father. I hopped on a spontaneous opportunity to go see my favorite baseball club, the Pittsburgh Pirates, play at Dodger Stadium. Dad lives about three hours north of here, but I sent […]

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Balance

on May 12th, 2014 by mark

The heat wave has come slowly, but come it did. 90′s today and hotter through Thursday of this week–maybe even Friday. Wind, too. Lots and lots of wind. But none of that prepared me for this evening which turned out to be, not cool, but cool-ish. So Shannon and I hooked up Simon for a […]

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Grace

on April 26th, 2014 by mark

“To him all good things-trout as well as eternal salvation-come by grace and grace comes by art and art does not come easy.” ― Norman Maclean. Art does not come easy. It’s also, at times, vastly over-rated as a kind of spiritual entry point. If your art is good, your salvation will be assured. I’m […]

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Breaking Spring

on April 16th, 2014 by mark

Spring break a year ago was feverish. Literally. Shannon’s birthday arrived and with it, a gift of the flu for me. I only mention it because it doesn’t seem possible it was fully a year ago–more now, actually. This year so far, germ free thank God, and enjoying myself. The smells coming from the kitchen […]

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Footpower vs. Horsepower

on March 30th, 2014 by mark

I never thought to hate an object so much as I do now. And it is an obscene object, at that. It’s black and heavy, covered in soot and soil, dirt and grime. But everywhere I go these days, I have to carry it with me–like a ball and chain, limping along, the report of […]

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