A Lesson in Forest Management


There was a bit of sadness at the estate today—two trees had to be taken down. A mulberry and a red maple. Both of them were already mature trees when we moved here 28 years ago. I loved them both. The shy mulberry stayed mostly hidden and out of the way in our side-yard wilds, but it was a double-trunk tree, and one of the trunks was split into two sections, both leaning badly, one capable of...

Greet or Ignore that Passing Stranger?


I live in a mostly friendly suburban town, where people often greet or at least acknowledge another person when walking past them on the street. But the other day Jim and I were walking in the neighborhood when we reached a corner at the same time as a couple coming from the other direction. They were in conversation; so were we. Jim said hi. I waved. They completely ignored our presence even...

The Fleeting Flavor of Fruit Stripe Gum


It’s Christmas morning. And my birthday. I’m not sure what age: old enough to know better, yet young enough to think I can get away with it. The living room is in tatters after five kids rip open their Christmas presents. In our stockings are individual packs of Fruit Stripe gum. Five juicy flavors! My favorite! We have to get ready for Mass but I beg my parents to let me have just one stick of...

New Year, New Me?


I’m into my fifth year of writing this blog and have averaged well north of one hundred twenty posts a year. I’ve written through times of joy and grief. I’ve posted during periods of personal unrest and bursting creativity. I’ve complained and celebrated, praised and pilloried. I’ve carefully researched and carelessly spouted. But for the first time since I’ve started, I’ve gone more than two...

A Year in Review


Are you tired of all the end-of-year lists yet? The best movies, the acclaimed books, the top photographs, the most important news stories, the famous people who’ve died, the five best/five worst plays for the Bills . . . Well, here’s one more for you, dear loyal readers: the year in review on this blog. I published 112 posts this year, although in the last couple of months my rate of posting has...

Hard on Myself, and Others


I’m in a meeting with a professional colleague/client who doubles as an adviser to me and triples as someone I can talk to like a friend. I might be the same for him. Today we’re in the middle of a business discussion, but then he shifts the topic as he tends to do and is now telling me a story about when he was young and his mom told him he was very hard on himself. I immediately relate. I’ve...

Fewer Adults are Having Children


A young woman I’ve known since the day she was born has just had a baby. In the past few weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with a couple of toddlers—those spirited pint-sized humans discovering the world around them. My nephew and his wife are expecting their first child in the spring. Babyworld brings me a lot of joy. Babies, babies, everywhere—except not really. An article in The...

A Test of Auto Safety Features


I’m driving on the thruway and testing out two of the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in our new vehicle. Adaptive Cruise Control keeps us traveling at a constant speed but slows down the car to maintain a set distance between our vehicle and the one in front. The other feature I’m trying out is the Lane Keeping Assist System, which keeps the vehicle traveling in the center of the...

My Mother the Movie Star


I’d never seen this photo until my sister sent it to me. Canada, summer, cottage life. Of course I looked down when someone was taking my photo. I’m guessing I’m around seven years old. My parents are in the background over my right shoulder. If I was seven, my mom was forty-one. She looks so exotic to me in this photo, like a movie star all in white with her sunglasses and...

Unusual Movie Choice for a Holiday


For various reasons, it was just the four of us this year for Thanksgiving. With Owen studying forestry in New Haven and Julia working full time as a dietician and studying for her Master’s, the kids lead busy lives. Having this day together felt like a gift. We all contributed to our Thanksgiving feast. Owen is the cranberry sauce expert. Julia handled the Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes...

Black Friday at its Best


I spent Black Friday in my usual way—shopping and shopping and shopping. No, not at all. In the afternoon, a walk at Five Rivers with Owen. He’s teaching me to identify tree species. Then at night, Harriet and I went to see our friend Howard’s band, the Coal Palace Kings. They play annually on Black Friday at the Hangar in Troy, and maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll play one other gig...

A “Relaxing and Cooling Loneliness”


Friends is one of those shows that came along after I’d aged out of that type of sitcom, but I got to watch plenty of episodes with my kids, and I developed a fondness for the characters and their foibles. Good old Chandler Bing, charming and anxious, played by Matthew Perry—who was recently found dead. Perry spent a large part of his adult life in rehab battling addiction. More than any of the...

Preserving one Halloween Ritual


I recently wrote in “A Beautiful, Bracing Chill” about how I dove into the chilly waters of Lake Erie even though I was hesitant to do so. But I didn’t want my ritual swim after a run to “become just one more thing I don’t do anymore because I’m old or lazy or too sensitive to the cold.” Yesterday, I realized Halloween was going by the wayside as well. Every year with the kids we used to visit a...

Moon and Cloud


Who among us hasn’t needed to step outside? Take a moment to calm and gather ourselves. And this is what greets us: a world so demanding our attention and wonder, that all else pales. Behind this black cloud, our moon is brilliant and full.

I Got Up From My Desk, Then Went Back and Fixed the Link to This Post


Recently I’ve written a few somber posts, like “Facing (or not) the Long Goodbye.” Sometimes I have to do that, to get it out of me. Not that I want to throw it on you, but I believe for all of us there is great value in a sad story. Today is different. Today the sun is shining and the wind chimes are playing an extended set and I remember how much I love October. I got up from...

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, journalist, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.


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