It’s been snowing here nonstop since the morning. The world out our front window looks like an icy planet in Star Wars where the only being that can survive outside is some form of monster animal. The thermometer says its 12 degrees Fahrenheit – and it’s only going to get colder. A winter storm has […]Read more "21. WINTER"
She took her first breaths at the end of August a year ago in the maternity ward at Eastern Niagara Hospital, the baby girl who was given the name Isabella Rose Mulligan – my granddaughter. She was born the first grandchild on all sides of her new family, the guaranteed recipient of all manner of […]Read more "20. One Year a Grandfather"
Dawn in Tiquipaya I am sitting in a large empty room that for the past ten years has been the office I shared with my wife and daughter. Our desks are gone now and sound echoes in a way it never did. I can hear the birds singing outside from our small forest of large […]Read more "19. The Last Day of Living in Bolivia"
Last night our small town of Lockport, New York gathered its people in its modest downtown to celebrate my one year anniversary of returning to the U.S. They marked the occasion with a parade down Main Street followed by a fireworks display over the Eire Canal. I know it was ostensibly to get the jump […]Read more "18. A Year in Gringolandia"
It is easy these days to watch national politics in the U.S. the way you might watch a Super Bowl where you have a real emotional stake in one side or the other. Every play carries an emotional hope that your team will advance and the other will fail. We feel happy when it goes […]Read more "17. Of Super Bowls and Declassified Memos"
This was supposed to be the week we went home to Bolivia, a return to summer and to taunting people with screenshots of sunny weather reports without end.Read more "16. The Beast that is Winter"
Train bound from Buffalo to New York City, the shallow waters of the Mohawk River out my right window, the trees all barren of their leaves in the last weeks of autumn. Train bound through this country that is my home and still not my home. Governments run by the smug who seek only power […]Read more "15. The Madness in My Mind: The Dark Side of Returning to the U.S."
I’ve just returned from another one of my long strange global journeys, five countries in just under two weeks – Britain, Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Netherlands, and Ireland (seven if you count my various layovers in Moscow and Istanbul). I enjoy these work trips, in this case leading advocacy workshops for the good people at UNICEF. […]Read more "14. “Where are You From?”"
One of the U.S. traditions I most missed in my 19 years living abroad was Halloween. As a boy in California I roamed our suburban neighborhood in a series of homemade costumes that ranged from a cowboy to Aunt Jemima (my apologies, my family was culturally clueless in the 1960s). Door-to-door across many blocks we […]Read more "13. A Different Halloween Tradition: Remembering Those We’ve Lost"
A year ago, after that surreal morning when we awoke to the news that Donald Trump had been elected President, I traveled from Bolivia to the United States. It was an odd journey that began by flying back with the Secret Service detail that had been guarding President Obama’s daughter Malia in our little village […]Read more "12. Letters to Another America"