Everyone’s a Local in Virginia City

In early 2016, I was living in Southern California, looking for a teaching position elsewhere, and I was regularly driving 4-hours north to the rural community of Bishop, California to visit my girlfriend, Natalie. It was on one of those visits when Natalie, who is now my wife, suggested we drive north to visit Virginia…

Navigating the Transitions

My son Jameson is two years old, and he’ll be three in another month, but it feels at times like he’s going on five or six. He says and does some of the most grown-up things I never would’ve imagined he’d be doing at this point in his young life. He quite frequently tells me,…

Perspectives on Parenting from Higher Education

I got into teaching English in higher education, in part, because I love learning. College was fun for me, even in spite of its challenges; in fact, the challenges were what made it so fun. Discovering new ideas and new ways of looking at and living in the world were invigorating. They still are— that’s…

A Long Time Coming

Super Bowl aLIVe On Sunday, February 2, 2020, I witnessed something I was dreadfully worried I’d never get the chance to see in my lifetime: the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl and became champions of the football world! What was even more impressive was that the Chiefs did it in dramatic, almost poetic,…

A New Year, A New…Mendacity

If I were to make an honest assessment of myself and the things I need to change in the year ahead, a few items would immediately occupy the top of my list: I need to lose 15 pounds of fat (and replace it with 15 pounds of muscle). I should eat less processed meat (which…

Man’s Best: A Requiem for My Dog

My beloved dog, Zoe, of 14.8 years died on July 2nd of this year. Since then, I’ve been trying in vain to swallow the jagged pill of her loss. Something embedded in my psyche, maybe some twisted cultural norm, keeps saying, “She was just a dog; you’ll get over it.” Something deeper, though, maybe my…

The Benefits of Reading Aloud to Your Children

As I remember it, when I was growing up in Kansas and Missouri, my dad, step-mother, and grandmother would read bedtime stories to me: Aesop’s fables, Little Golden Books, the Bible, and I’m sure there was even some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as well. I also remember that someone, probably my dad or stepmom, enrolled…

Andelin Family Farm: Baby Animal Days

Spring is finally here— and thank goodness! I love winter and all that comes with it, but given the extremely wet and cold nature of this last one and the fact that I recently spent 12-hours stuck in the snow on Donner Pass, I’m glad warmer weather has arrived. So in the spirit of spring,…

Rhythm & Sol: A Music Career in the Making

When I was around 18 years old, I inherited a 1973 Ovation Model 1111-4 Balladeer round-back guitar. One of my grandmother’s tenants had abandoned it in her rental property in Kansas City, and I happened to stumble across it one summer’s day while I was helping her clean out the storage room. It was a…

The V&T’s Candy Cane Express

Take a journey on the V&T Candy Cane Express to usher in Christmas. Be forewarned: you will be smiling, laughing, singing, snacking and feeling merry.

A Day Out with Thomas: Big Adventure Tour 2018

My son Jameson is now 13-months old, and I’ve learned this is the exact age when a young boy develops a full-blown love affair with vehicles: cars, trucks, planes, and trains. Every large transportation vehicle he sees is currently a “truck” (his favorite word), and “trucks” of every kind litter my living room: an ATV,…