81 birthday cakes

Amid the many tears accompanying the departure of our daughter Michaela to Japan recently was my usual dry-eyed self. As Michaela (or ‘Kaylie’ as many know here) has been prepping to make this move over the last six months, we’ve had plenty of time to process it, enjoy her waning time here with us and […]

Some thoughts on snow

I think I wrote this for Mountain Gazette but not sure if it was ever published. So many images – from the snowy Rockwellian tableau that exists in our minds to countless photographs on postcards and in coffee table books – show snow sitting still. Parked in fields as the sun sets, reposing on the […]

Gone are the letters

While home on break over the holidays, our oldest son did something that stood out as rather unusual in these digital times: He sat down at the kitchen table and wrote a letter. With a pen. On paper. And then he addressed it (with some tips from his aged parents), put a stamp on it […]

The beauty of a full house

  On Christmas morning just past, they were all here: all five of our children. In one place, at the same time, under one roof. In addition, we had a new grandbaby marking her first Christmas and assorted girlfriends and fiancés on hand as well. Having family home for the holidays is nothing out of […]

100 or so days of Christmas

Since he had an impressive display up around Halloween, I asked my neighbor on Dec. 1 when he was going to get into the holiday décor arms race that’d broken out in our neighborhood. “Not until next weekend,” he said, noting that he didn’t like the extra expenditure of electricity to make it all go. […]

Creamed cornucopia: A Thanksgiving thing

Kids, so conventional wisdom goes, love tradition. Nay, they thrive on it, and children deprived of predictable repetition of favorite things — generally at certain times of the year — grow up bitter, confused and prone to madhouse behavior. Stripped, say, of the annualized appearance of a whole cooked turkey on the last Thursday of […]

Unwelcome leaves of autumn

Front Range Family By Alex Miller   For weeks, I regarded the vast quantity of leaves that had appeared in our back and front yard with a mixture of annoyance, curiosity and a sort of detached bemusement. “Do I,” I wondered, “Really have to deal with this crap?” Yes, the answer turned out to be, […]

With kids, how scary can you go?

Front Range Family By Alex Miller   A few years ago, our youngest son, unbeknownst to us, watched from the top of the landing a terrifying scene in “Pan’s Labyrinth.” He was probably 8 at the time, and we would have never purposefully allowed him to see what, for my money, is one of the […]

Of curtains and U-Hauls

Front Range Family By Alex Miller Watching my wife sort through a big box of curtains the other morning, I couldn’t help but comment that, were it up to me, the new place would remain curtain-less for some time — forever, probably. And, I told her as she weighed the various lengths, colors and degree […]