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Dorm Room Shopping with Dad

This ought to be a no-brainer. It’s just a freshman dorm room, after all. Four dull walls, two simple beds, and one large bathroom down the hall.  How hard could it be to help my daughter buy the basic necessities?…

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The Heat is On

August in Richmond makes some people miserable.  They complain about the humidity and the mosquitoes. Friday Cheers is long over. The tomato plants didn’t make it, thanks to the squirrels. Cutting the grass turns into a strategic maneuver against the…

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You Better Make Believe It

For a long period in my life, I forgot how to play pretend.  As a child, I’d spend hours on the floor of my bedroom constructing narratives: superhero mashups between Green Lantern and Spider-Man, sequels to Nintendo games drawn on…

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Handyman Dad

I suppose if it weren’t for the toilet that wouldn’t flush all those years ago, I wouldn’t be the married man I am today or living the life I’m living today.  But thank you, God, for that commode. The raven-haired…

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Caving In!

I like those old Coleman magazine ads where the kids stand by the stream with fishing poles, reeling in trout; Mom kneels near the picnic basket, driving in tent stakes; and Dad tugs at the station wagon, loosening the canoe.…

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Return to Sleep-Away Camp

When my older daughter was eight, my wife Kat and I prepared to take her to her first sleep-away camp. It was the summer after third grade and she was ready for an adventure. She’d been active in the local…

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What’s A Little Snow?

Are you kidding me?  I mean, come on. Really. You have got to be kidding me. There’s not even three inches of snow out there, and schools are closing? Again? Snow day, you have done it once more – barreling…

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Hunting for Santa

On a special December Saturday in 1983, Dad woke up early to warm up the Toyota. By seven o’clock, my sister Susan and I were inside the car. Then, we waited for Mom, who perpetually ran late. We needed to…

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Is That the Boy?

It seems we’ve come here to see her dance a hundred times before. The girls get older, the routines get smoother, and, well, a dad can’t help but notice that the little girl who once had all the grace and…

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All Hail Halloween Dad

So here I am again, standing at the end of the walk with the flashlight in my hand. Up at the front door, past the jack o’ lanterns on the stoop, the monsters, superheroes, and fairy princesses crowd around the…

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