Veteran, Mother, Writer

True stories, essays, and letters on important matters and nonsense. From work to words ... from the military to motherhood to mountains.

All Episodes

I learned more from two friends in death than I had learned from them in life.  Giving thanks to those departed souls.

Nov 24

6 min 25 sec

The last First Day of School, the end of summer, just what summer means, and life's next stage

Sep 21

11 min 25 sec

Southeast Alaska, the Inside Passage, Klondike Gold Rush

Jul 30

13 min 32 sec

A dying art, a gift from yesterday, there's nothing so full bodied and rich as  words on paper. Photos may capture the appearance in any given moment, but words, his words, they capture his mind and spirit

Jun 21

4 min 51 sec

On generational service and the reasons we serve. Remembering  sacrifice and celebrating a new Army lieutenant in the family. 

May 31

14 min 29 sec

A Story and Two Short Poems: by a Zen Monk & Mary Oliver

Apr 26

9 min 18 sec

April Fools Day and Humor in Uniform. Three stories from cadet life.  The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. Churchill

Apr 1

8 min 5 sec

“Would you mind if I take off my shirt?” he said.  A story from a retreat in North Carolina.  The Odyssey, the Devil, and a Home

Feb 10

11 min 42 sec

Fun things-to-do and great eats in Key West. New Year's on Wheels - Road trip (Ct to VA) and family skating. 

Jan 7

14 min 3 sec

Tough times define us.  Whitman's Ghost or Simon, played by Joe Pesci in the 1994 film With Honors, shares a message. 

Nov 2020

6 min 55 sec

Brady Shattan joins us to talk about spirit friends, his guardian angel and extrasensory perception.  

Oct 2020

37 min 41 sec

What happens when someone dies, when the worldly connection is broken?  Where are the healers and the mediums and the shamans today?  This is the third episode in Spirits of the Fall: True Stories of the Season, eerie occurrences, real-life horrors, ghosts, and second sight.

Oct 2020

15 min 34 sec

Second in the series of the season: real-life horrors and ghosts.  

Oct 2020

13 min 48 sec

This is the first in a series of True Stories for the season, of eerie occurrences, real-life horrors, visits from the beyond, haunted rooms, and childhood visions.

Oct 2020

15 min 10 sec

Fall is the season for running. This story is about failure and mastery, how that became a commander's story.

Oct 2020

15 min 30 sec

Thoughts on the anthem and the flag, what they mean. 

Sep 2020

9 min 40 sec

A graveyard visit on a father's death day and a daughter's birthday.   Maya Angelou's advice on the legacy of departed loves. 

Sep 2020

13 min 44 sec

I've gotten to know my son better now that he's left. 

Aug 2020

24 min 9 sec

Today’s letter is about something that matters, an important debate happening in society right now. In the wake of recent events regarding the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, this letter is more relevant than ever. It has been updated to relate my own experience and the role of the brave men and women who are called to the profession of arms, with a special thank you to those in the West Point Class of 2020 who graduated this weekend. These young officers have taken an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, giving their life if necessary, so that all Americans might enjoy the blessings of a free nation.

Jun 2020

30 min 47 sec

Death of a Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell and Twilight by Lucretia Maria Davidson A tribute to my Uncle, a South Vietnamese officer who never came home

May 2020

5 min 2 sec

My story about a Nursing Home. Some Gorey stuff, some sad stuff,  some crass stuff.  What gives life meaning? what would great writers say?

May 2020

16 min 32 sec

Consider the pandemic crisis and the moral claims of shutting down the economy. What are consequences, good and bad? How do COVID deaths compare to other mortality data?

Apr 2020

14 min 47 sec

A pulse on High School and College Seniors, where they are and how they're doing. Taking comfort in poetry and a mother's wish. 

Mar 2020

7 min 2 sec

A child's note, three gifts, and Leo Tolstoy's famous story

Feb 2020

10 min 27 sec

You ever have that moment when something you’ve believed for some time begins to shift and slip, leaving you a bit off-balance?

Feb 2020

11 min

Three simple toasts, suitable for most occasions, and easy to remember. And, a little about the semicolon. 

Jan 2020

10 min 25 sec

How much light do you gain each day in January, over the month? and the next months? 

Jan 2020

7 min 42 sec

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn What can we learn from the Gulag? About the military, about the body and soul?

Jan 2020

15 min 21 sec

With special guest Hayley Swinson, writer and editor, on how books help her get into the season.  On receiving books and giving books. 

Dec 2019

24 min 44 sec

A friend in hospice talks about time, love, friendship, and the search for meaning.

Nov 2019

8 min 24 sec

 A college freshman and a Vietnamese centenarian on China.  Hong Kong Protests, Confucian Centers, TikTok security.

Nov 2019

10 min 31 sec

A true, gritty account of the American Soldier and a child's role, in the longest war in U.S. history.  Visit to see photos.

Nov 2019

26 min 47 sec

Thoughts on writing from Dreyer's English and Brandon Royal's Little Red Writing Book.  Get rid of useless words. How many drafts until finished?  Grammar Versus Style and the Big Three Nonrules

Oct 2019

14 min 38 sec

Did you know that Murphy was in the Army? 

Oct 2019

16 min 17 sec

Why memorize poetry and what's a mondegreen? 

Oct 2019

11 min 19 sec

Do myths and legends shape the stories we tell? Hear Stephen's story and retrace the steps he took.  A 9-11 memorial.

Oct 2019

18 min 47 sec

Sometimes a search for one thing leads to another. Like this Burl Ives folk tune: On a summer's day in the month of May, what was the burly bum singing of? 

Sep 2019

18 min 3 sec

In the Digital Age, do letters still matter? What about a dusty box of letters in the basement? 

Sep 2019

12 min 35 sec

September is Suicide Prevention Month. Hear a story and learn about the Four Noble Truths.

Sep 2019

9 min 40 sec

What can whales teach us about learning and mastery?

Sep 2019

14 min 45 sec

Unexpected summer visitors

Aug 2019

10 min 17 sec

Hiking Kilimanjaro on the Machame Route in Six Days - learn about the final days and Kibo, the volcanic summit

Aug 2019

15 min 59 sec

Episode 2 - Hiking Kilimanjaro in the Machame Route, Day 4

Aug 2019

12 min 42 sec

A middle aged account of Kili and more. First episode on Days 1 to 3 and the guides.

Aug 2019

13 min 10 sec