CategoryPersonal

Facing (or not) “The Long Goodbye”

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I just read novelist Amy Bloom’s brief memoir, In Love, about her husband, Brian Ameche, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and decided he’d rather take matters into his own hands and his life rather than face the “long goodbye” of dementia. Although it may be easy enough to kill yourself—guns, razor blades, high heights, etc.—such methods are very messy and traumatic for survivors. Brian...

A Restful Night of Sleep

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I need to be mentally and physically sharp for a big day tomorrow. I’m in bed and lights out at 10:32, but I’m thinking about tomorrow’s schedule and so I don’t fall asleep until sometime near midnight. A dream not worth recounting. Awake. Tossing. I only use eight of the twelve phrases that “socially intelligent people use to make an instant connection.” I should be better than that. The outdoor...

One Window is Opening, Another is Closing

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Another autumn hike in the mountains. On our last hike in the Adirondacks we showed up early for peak fall color. This week in the Catskills we arrived a little late. Still, these mountains around me are breathtaking under any conditions. The three Catskill peaks of Blackhead, Black Dome, and Thomas Cole are familiar sights to me. An ascent to Windham High Peak, followed by meandering through the...

Dear Gillette:

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Dear Gillette: I remember a time not that long ago Harriet would tell me how good I smelled after I shaved. Now? Silence. And for that, I am turning in my loyalty card to your Gillette Foamy shaving cream. I gotta tell you, that stuff stinks now. Whatever you did to the formula, you messed up badly. In case you think I’m simply a disgruntled old drip who’s resistant to change, I’m not the only...

A Beautiful, Bracing Chill

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One of my joys of summer is taking a hot, sweaty run and finishing on the shores of Lake Erie where I pull off my shirt and shoes and plunge into the refreshing lake—floating, cooling off, recovering. Every time I visit the summer place in Canada I look forward to this ritual. But now it’s near the end of September, summer gone, and the morning temp is cool and the run didn’t make me so hot and...

My Favorite Mountains

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Back when I was focusing on hiking all 46 Adirondack high peaks that reached over 4,000 feet, that singular mission kept me focused on the biggest mountains and the most grueling hikes. After checking off about half of the high peaks, I abandoned my quest. I realized there were too many mountains that required more than a single day’s hike to conquer, meaning I would have to carry camping...

A Library Return

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The doorbell rang. It was two chimes—ding-dong—which meant the front door. A single ding is the breezeway door. Twenty-seven years in my house and I can still mix that up. But I can write Pi out to ten decimal places, so I’m cool. A man stands on my front stoop, rocking on the balls of his feet, as if about to launch himself to chase a ball. He holds a book in his hand, half hidden behind his leg...

The Sugar Maple One Year Later

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About a year ago I wrote “Long Live the Sugar Maple,” about our imperiled tree. This is an update. First, a bit of background: it must have been about twenty years ago that we had the sugar maple planted out front. I’ve always loved the sugar maple’s shape and iconic fall colors and the sweetness of its syrup.  It’s the official tree of New York State. I’ve planted plenty of...

Curriculum Changes

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Where I live, for multiple days in the past month the air has been hazy and scented with smoke and the sky cast in a menacing sepia tone. It was like something straight out of a dystopian novel. Huge storms have battered many parts of the world. July was the hottest month ever recorded. The world is on fire. For decades, scientists have warned us about the dangers of a warming planet and climate...

Artificial Intelligence is Coming for Me

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A couple of years ago, a writer friend told me that soon artificial intelligence will be writing better fiction than we can. I wasn’t sure if I believed him, but I didn’t forget his words. On the bright side, it prompted me to write two new novels: The Culling and In Flight. Perhaps I was trying to get something accomplished before I became obsolete. That day might be approaching. Generative AI...

The Multigenerational Household

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Almost 60 million adults in the U.S. are living in multigenerational family households, according to data from The Pew Research Center. It’s four times the number that did so in 1971. The percentage share also more than doubled, to 18% of the U.S. population.  Disclosure: I live in one of these multigenerational family households. Both of our young adult, employed college graduates are...

The Cottage Life Balancing Act

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My siblings and I jointly own a summer cottage in Canada that my father left to us in his will. Growing up in Buffalo, we spent our summers in Canada, in our early years at a place we called Three Acres upon which my father and his buddies hand-built six very rustic cottages in the 1950s. Our current cottage Old cottage Almost fifty years later my dad upgraded to a new place—bigger, with reliable...

Truth and Fiction Collide

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It has to be a coincidence. Randomness on display. One world is fiction and the other is real. But something just happened to me that is eerily reminiscent of what happened to the character Robert Besch in my novel In Flight. In the book, after the news spreads that the Plane-Crash Hero had suffered from a dissociative fugue, all kinds of strangers begin contacting Robert. From the novel: There...

Opposite Encounters on A Bike

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1. I’m on my bike riding through a residential neighborhood, zipping down one of the only hills in Bethlehem to gain enough speed to climb up the other side. Ahead of me, I spot two other riders, a man and a woman heading in my direction. They’re on my side of the road. Someone has to move to the other side, and it should be them. They just keep on coming in my direct path. I take a quick look...

Every Window is a World

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I’m mesmerized by kinetic art—the sculpture that spins, the mobile that sways—and because of that I’m compelled to hang windows in our yard. Every window is a world, and when a window is suspended, when a window floats or sways in the breeze, another facet of that world is yours to behold. My first kinetic window I sourced from the double-hung I saved from our bathroom remodel. It had the old...

David Klein

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

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