In search of story


Connections: December 24.16

20161220_181935In such small space

so great a brightness

in such simple corner

so vast a rightness

not just because it’s Christmas

Christmas comes and goes

but because it speaks of home

which warms the heart and toes.

With thanks again to the S.W. Berg Photo Archives

and to the D.J. Berg Christmas Panorama.



Vagaries in Gestation: October 9.16


“You have a hole in your heart.”

This was a comeuppance; my heart and I had been together for 73 years, with me smugly assuming it was in one piece. But not to worry, said the doctor: this kind of hole (in doctorspeak, a PFO) happens to lots of people around the time they’re born and it is no big deal. My friend Bill, who knows about such things, explained it as “vagaries in gestation.”

Many years ago, my otherwise staid and sensible Aunt Jean paid actual money for some kind of documents about the O’Hern family history. Suddenly we had a crest and a motto.  I thought the O’Hern motto was “Pass the pierogi.” Meanwhile, my mother was hard at work on the Mauck side, where the motto surely should have been “In ironing we trust.”

So, dear reader, when my friend Bill explained the PFOs as “vagaries in gestation,” I thought A) what a wonderful-sounding phrase, B) boy, does that explain my family, and — thus — C) hey, our true family motto!

As I mentioned recently, autumn is a good time for beginnings and I’m now beginning — and returning to — an occasional blog reflection on family and on me, vagaries all.  My blog will then be part “Connections” and part “Vagaries.” Oddments indeed.

As ever, in search of story —




Connections: January 23

Ode to My Computer

Oh, thou dastard mystery!

Flat rectangle of doom!

With monotoned duplicity

you dominate the room.

My memory card inserted

with photos fresh and current —

you just sit here humming

defiant and obscurant.

What happened to that SD thing

or whatever hapless part?

You’re just the modern tin man

and you really need a heart!