December 22, 2022

My First, My Last, My Greatest Goal!

That I found myself, a grown man weeping to see the sight should have been no surprise to those who know me.  As Leonel Messi, indubitably soccer’s GOAT, hoisted the gold World Cup trophy to the rapture of his younger teammates, I too, felt that my life in soccer, aka fútbol, had come full circle.  Mine were tears of joy. I consider myself a […]
March 29, 2020

The Road (Street) Less Traveled

It’s a strange (no pun intended) new world we live in..I peer out from the blinds acknowledging we have ceded our patio to the creatures which inhabit the hill–a family of California quail, a pair of squirrels, the dark eyed juncos and towhee birds that forage in the leaves which, left unattended, have turned to mulch. Through all this, the […]
February 21, 2023

Out Of Africa

Farewell to the Congo As the Ethiopian Airlines jet taxied to our gate, I felt a strange relief leaving Goma. Two weeks in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) was enough. My head cold had not improved—rather on the last evening it developed into full blown sinusitis that left me not only babbling in my […]
January 15, 2023

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned

Father Paschal The priest raised the sacred host to heaven at the very moment the zealot slammed his fist down onto the makeshift altar’s wooden crucifix splintering it into a dozen pieces. Several Catholic [1]TCNs, (Filipinos, Lebanese and Indians) attempted to subdue the man who was ranting at the bespectacled priest from America. “Heretic!  Blasphemer!  Idolater!” Many in the congregation stampeded to […]
January 11, 2023

An IPPY Award, My Life on Zoom and a Return to the Camino

An IPPY Award Last Tuesday I received an unlikely Instagram message from Christine Reed aka ‘ruggedoutdoorswoman’–at least that’s what her handle said–who claimed my book It’s Your Camino: One Couple’s 500-Mile Pilgrimage Across Spain had garnered a 2021 IPPY Award. The young outdoors woman from Colorado, an author (Alone in Wonderland) in her own right, offered her ‘Congratulations.’ My first […]
November 23, 2022

In the Gardens of King Faisal

At first, I thought it a mirage.  Making its way slowly down Riyadh’s Sitteen Street, the most beautifully polished navy-blue Rolls Royce came into view.  But there was something else about this high-end luxury car flaunting its “Spirit of Ecstasy” hood ornament—I recognized it immediately and stopped in my tracks.  The car found the curb rolling to a halt a few feet […]
October 30, 2022

My New Action Hero

Action Heroes For as long as I can remember Action Heroes (Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Jason Statham come to mind), have been a huge part of my life.  For starters, these action heroes stand out in a crowd and are usually outnumbered, outgunned and outside the law.  They are thrust into situations from which mere mortals […]
May 4, 2022

The Vimto Prince

Riyadh Schools It is a photograph from a different time and era, conjuring up a young man’s predilection for the Middle East. Forty-two years ago, four of my seventh grade students can be seen squinting in the bright Arabian sunshine while clinging to their soft drinks. “Cheese,” I must have blurted out as I snapped their photo between classes–four Saudi […]
March 25, 2022

Saudia Flight 163

Ghost-like Fuselage Suffering from acute jet lag after a long and tedious flight from Karachi, the TWA/Singapore Airlines “Around the World” flight was one hour away from reaching its inevitable conclusion.  As a 24 year old, single male I was none too happy about returning to the austere and orthodox “Kingdom” to begin a second year teaching at Riyadh Schools.  How could […]
March 4, 2022

Tag-Teaming WWE’S Finest

Inhaling the frigid arctic air by mouth had been a huge mistake.  My lungs and nostrils began burning and within minutes my ears were frost nipped. Welcome to Fairbanks, Alaska in February!  The temperature was lower than I ever imagined–minus 35 degrees.  Later that night the thermometer would bottom out at minus 45 degrees. I cannot claim the afternoon flight from Seattle to Fairbanks […]
February 17, 2022

Lassen Adventure

Fatigued by buffeting headwinds and a 2500 foot elevation gain, we finally gained a glimpse of Lassen Peak.  Or was it?  No, this was, in fact, a false peak replete with a meandering chaos of talus, boulders and geological detritus.  The true peak still lie a few hundred yards ahead, to the right of a receding glacier–a reminder we were at 10,470 […]