mom and dad at cabins

A Post from My Deceased Father

My dad, who died a few years back, was a United Methodist pastor. That makes me a “PK,” as we’re known in the business – a pastor’s kid. Growing up in a trim white parsonage at the edge of fields and forest, in a family of 7, in the 1970s, was rather Cleaveresque. By which I…

mountains on botanical trail

Spain’s Valle de Benasque: A Pyrenean Paradise

The Benasque Valley, in the Spanish Pyrenees is, in a word, charming. It’s also picturesque. And gorgeous. Oh, and it has soaring peaks and waterfalls, tiny stone hamlets, abundant wildlife, dozens of alpine lakes, a smallish but excellent ski area, outstanding restaurants, stunning hiking trails, and good infrastructure. In a word, charming. The Esera River sluices through the…

KIDS BEING EXPLOITED IN THE SHOPS

The Pink Section: What Our Toy Stores Are Telling Our Children

If you’re a parent, you probably go to your fair share of children’s birthday parties – just last Saturday we had a back-to-back double-header, both for boys. Birthday parties necessitate gifts, and gifts generally necessitate a trip to the local toy store. So on Thursday we stop off after school at a toy superstore in one of these…

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What to Do When Your F*#king Kids Swear

“Mommy, what does ‘I fuck your buttocks’ mean?” My friends have a lovely little boy in an English-language preschool in Budapest, and this was what he’d learned in school that day (although presumably not as part of the official curriculum). The little boy’s mom wrote to me for advice, apparently thinking that since I write…