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Merry Christmas from Quinhagak, Alaska

  I promised you a Christmas treat in my last post, and I won’t let you down. No amount of good wishes or merry merry or ho ho ho could communicate the spirit of the season better than this little clip from the fifth grade students at Quinhagak, Alaska, a tiny village of just over […]

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How to find your bliss

  Finding one’s bliss. Such an fuzzy, amoebalike concept. So New Age. And yet, it captures an essence of something that words like “happiness” and “joy” don’t. It implies a pursuit of something meaningful; something meant for you alone. It is more ethereal and less rational than a goal. A few years ago, when a […]

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About ten years ago, I was sitting on a beach on the Texas gulf coast between South Padre Island and the Mexican border watching the waves hit the sand. The sun was comfortably warm, and the surf rolled onto the sand endlessly and rhythmically. It was hypnotic. At the time, I was facing a major […]

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Money and Simplicity

  I have a tortured relationship with money. On the one hand, I can get by on very little of it; on the other, I like to have enough to feel secure. Enough to go out to dinner; enough to buy gifts; enough not to worry. But security has been in short supply since I […]

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Mr. Animal Magnetism at the hot springs

A green van pulled into the Mountain Palm Springs campground. I waved, as usual, although I couldn’t see the occupants through the glare of the windshield. It’s good to be neighborly, I figured, especially in these free campgrounds where official supervision is limited. It’s also good to know which neighbors to keep a healthy distance from. A very buff […]

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