Happy WHAT?!

Back in the Cretinaceous Period when I was a kid, there was a popular TV program called Father Knows Best. In today’s “woke” age when “old white males” are no longer widely imagined to have all the answers, the premise of that show — that middle-aged guys might possess a special kind of wisdom — […]

Matzah, a Leningrad Perspective

Matzah In the days leading up to the beginning of Passover1 last night, I’ve seen several articles on the web about matzah,2 cracker-like sheets of unleavened bread. That was all the food the Israelites (whom today we call the Jews) were able to take with them as Moses led them to freedom following generations of slavery […]

Dad Stories

Dad with me, probably 1945, Long Branch, N.J. On Father’s Day I’m recalling a few more stories about my dad, Nathan Daniel. They’re mostly “short takes,” so I’m presenting them in bullet form. One day, when I was about eight, Dad brought home a chunk of dry ice, something I’d never seen or heard of […]

Brownies

Brown E’s for dessert! April Fools’ Day — yes, that’s the correct way to write it — is now a little over a month in the rear-view mirror, and as followers of this blog will be aware, I’ve had other things on my mind since then. Nevertheless, my daughter Naomi found a great way to […]

Holiday Letter

Well, it happened again. I missed the deadline for the annual1 holiday letter to friends and family. Happily, I’m still nearly a month ahead of schedule for a Groundhog Day message. So, if you’re tempted to proceed any further, consider yourself among the first to read my breathless (or is it, at age 75, out-of-breath?) […]

More Mother’s Day Memories

Mollie Daniel, expecting me, 1944 For Mother’s Day this year, I’d like to add a few more recollections of my mom to the collection — a tribute really — that I wrote two years ago. If you didn’t read it back then, and if you’d like to know something about the wonderful lady who brought […]

The Smile That Saved a Life, a Mother’s Day Tale

Jonah This is the perfect story for Mother’s Day. It’s not from my own past, but it’s too good not to pass along – and I have the gracious permission of its principal, my daughter-in-law Jodi, to share it today with all her fellow mothers and all the husbands and children who love the mothers […]

Finding the Easter Basket

It’s only a week after Easter, and in fact the Orthodox churches are celebrating the holiday today, so this post is not yet untimely. This is the tale of an Easter past, when all three kids, in their early teens, were still living with Sandra and me in Honolulu. So … what does a part-Jewish, […]

A Glimpse of the Stone Age

A Stone Age celebration As 2017 comes to a close, here’s another holiday-related recollection that comes to mind. It’s from the time I was in Papua New Guinea on my way home to the United States following Peace Corps service in India. What, you might ask, does this have to do with the holidays? Hang […]

Not Your Everyday Christmas Story

I’d been thinking of republishing last year’s Christmas blog post, but today, just as Santa is harnessing the reindeer and filling his sleigh with toys in preparation for tonight’s globe-girdling ride, I’m recalling another long-ago Christmas event that I hope readers will find of interest. This was one of our family’s many holiday gatherings in […]