Pickled cherries and hot Amish pickles are cause for hope. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: In A Pickle Is The Place To Be

By: John Carlson— In a week or so my wife, Nancy, will be joining her sisters on a trip to Europe, leaving me alone to wallow in a morass of self-despair while struggling against long odds for simple survival. Not that she should feel guilty about it or anything. It’s…

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As you can see, my plane features no shortage of air. Photo by: Ron Waechter

John Carlson: Off Into The Wild Blue…

By: John Carlson— Why, yes! As a matter of fact, I do own an airplane! Sixty-seven years. My whole life. That’s how long I’ve waited to say that. Well, OK. Technically, it would be 67 years had I wanted an airplane the moment I popped from Mom’s womb and some…

Is it a sandstone block? Or could it be a monolith? Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: What’s That Doing There?

By: John Carlson— The distinctive monoliths rise from barren soil. Primitive yet precisely planned, they are the labors of a people long since lost to time, gigantic rocks raised in praise of ancient gods and goddesses before whose cosmic countenances men worshipped in awe. Stonehenge? Nah, my backyard. The sandstone…

A ladybug doing what it does best—eating. Photo by: Matt Howell

John Carlson: Gifts As Cute As A Bug

By: John Carlson— To celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I almost gave my wife Nancy 36,000 presents. But I digress … To begin at the beginning, a lawn-care supply catalogue showed up in our mailbox. Flipping through it, I was amazed to see it offered Tree Diapers. Yes, Tree Diapers….

A special war memento brings Memorial Day to mind. Photo by: John Carlson

John Carlson: Honoring Our Heroes

By: John Carlson— It’s a wood-framed shadow box, measuring about 8-by-12 inches, that once hung on a wall just outside my late father’s living room and now rests on a bookshelf in my home office. Mounted inside the box on black velvet is a triangular piece of metal. Maybe 6-inches…

White Castle sliders fill a silver serving tray. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: In Praise of ‘Gut Bombs’

By: John Carlson— There aren’t many things I wholeheartedly believe in these days, but one is the intrinsic goodness of White Castle sliders. Of course, some folks despise them. “Ewwww,” they sneer, wrinkling up their snouts while venting their disgust at the mere mention of the little hamburgers, also known…

A stalk of broccolini, slightly worse for wear. Photo by: Nancy Carlson

John Carlson: That’s Brocco-What?

By: John Carlson— These are exciting days for vegetables. For example, when Nancy and I recently enjoyed dinner at an out-of-county restaurant, our waitress lowered the plates before us, then began apologizing. “I’m so sorry, but that green thing isn’t a broccoli stalk like I told you,” she admitted, sheepishly….