All, Finally, Shall Be Well.

I wrote these words for my adult children, Diane, Susan, John, Andy and Brian, and with their permission share them with you. I stayed up watching until 2:15am to hear Trump’s speech – which was surprisingly mild and included words of gratitude for Hillary Clinton’s years of hard work and service to our country. I […]

Labor of Love

Ever since Labor Day I find myself thinking a lot about my father. He was a laborer all his life. Labor Day was not a big deal in my home other than signaling the end of summer, swimming pools closing, back to school looming. Dad displayed the flag on our front porch as he did […]

The Little Ones Among Us

In a recent family conversation about the Trump phenomenon which quickly turned into what Biblical scholars call a “communal lament”, we concluded that the best, most effective thing we can do is ignore him: stop listening to his every word, stop fixating on his television appearances, stop searching the newspaper for the most recent ridiculously […]

A Very Hopeful Prospect

People my age have come a long way and have seen American culture evolve dramatically and profoundly. Among the many powerful images of a woman clinching a major American political party’s nomination for president the most powerful was not in the newspaper. Rather it came in the form of a text from my daughter-in-law in […]

A Scottish Love Affair

I began a private, very personal love affair with Scotland decades ago when I first learned that Buchanan is a Scottish clan name with its own colorful tartan and coat of arms and that our Presbyterian church came from Scotland. The more I learned about Scotland, Scottish history, Highland culture, the Scottish Reformation, the more […]

Light in the Darkness

New Year’s has always been something of an anomaly to me. When I was a child I was not at all sure what it meant, how the transition from December 31 to January 1 at midnight was different from July 31 to August 1. “It’s the end of one year and the beginning of a new year” my […]

A Prayer for Thanksgiving Day, 2015

Dear God, our hearts are full on this Thanksgiving Day. Thank you for all the gifts you have given us: For this fine day, for sunshine and rain, For a natural world that so efficiently sustains and nurtures life, And for life – the cascading, colorful, amazing expression of that energy you have breathed into […]

Goodly Heritage

Two recent articles in the Christian Century magazine have set me to thinking about the mystery of how any of us comes to be who we are. Brian Doyle’s Two Uncles made me think about my own unique and occasionally peculiar uncles. They sat at family gatherings “silent as mountains” Doyle writes which reminded me of […]

New Year’s Eve, 2014-2015

Over the years I have concluded that the very best way to celebrate New Year’s Eve is quietly, with family and dearest friends. It’s not as if I have not tried the alternative, a night out on the town with food, drink, dancing and lots of noise. But it always seemed to me that, for […]

A Tiny, Blond Blessing

When there is a person or child with cognitive disabilities in the family, thoughtless euphemisms, even if well-meant, become irritating, often angering. Life with a cognitively challenged person is incredibly demanding. In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that parenting a child with disabilities means added complexity and challenge to every normal, day-to-day activity. […]