• Clash of Concepts

    November 24 – Squeal

    Many different squeals elicit joy in those graced by the sound. The squeal of a child’s delight. The squeal of a newly engaged couple. The squeal of a fan seeing their favorite musician. And there are squeals that bring sorrow. The squeal of a pig before it becomes dinner. The squeal of a person hearing of a loved one’s death. I know this doesn’t compare to those squeals, but there’s a particular squeal that evokes dread, disappointment, anxiety and frustration each time I hear it: the squeal of brakes. I’m not talking about the squeal of tires on pavement when the brakes are engaged suddenly. No, I mean the brake-pads-wore-down-and-are-rubbing-metal-to-metal-and-I-have-to-tell-my-dad…

  • Clash of Concepts

    November 23 – Offer

    On holidays—especially Thanksgiving—we offer gratitude for the people in our lives, for the bountiful table of food, for the hands that prepared the food and for those that eventually will package the leftovers and clean up the mess. We mention and acknowledge those who are gathered around the table and those who are not. Sometimes we offer tears of sadness and gladness, confessions of gratefulness and words of reflection. We offer kindness to others. On these particular days, we treat each other better than during our day-to-day interactions. No one wants to ruin the special day. The one who most desires not to be a spoiler tends to be the…

  • Clash of Concepts

    November 22 – Dam

    Eighteen months ago, Memorial Day 2016, my husband and I settled into the car and ventured on a day trip—a luxury to which we rarely treat ourselves. We journeyed to a small airport to interview a pilot with an extraordinary story about giving back to young people interested in aviation. The interview was one of my last ones for Ordinary Hoosiers—a website I created and manage. Though I still believe in that project’s mission, life has thrown a few curve balls that complicate maintaining the site. When we finished the interview, we just started driving. We eventually found ourselves cruising the streets and neighborhoods of my husband’s old haunt in…