Carlson

John Carlson: Having A (Meat) Ball

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, my wife met my daughter down at Indy’s new IKEA store for some female bonding while shopping. Unfortunately, I was unable to join them there amongst the frantic bustling of the excited shopping hordes, mostly because I’d have rather been dead. I must say, however, that included in the load of crap … er … items Nancy hauled back home was one thing even I could use, it being a bag of frozen Swedish…


John Carlson: Kids Games Not The Same

By: John Carlson— When I was a kid, I spent a fair number of rainy day hours playing jacks and pick-up sticks. Remember them? My Mom’s old pick-up sticks were stored in a cylindrical cardboard container at my grandfolks’ house, the skinny sticks being about a foot long and pointed on each end. You’d dump the sticks on the floor, then try to pick them up from the pile, one at a time, without accidentally moving any of the others….


John Carlson: A Day to Thank Veterans

By: John Carlson— Do you believe in ghosts? I do, to a point. Maybe not the malevolent kind who supposedly haunt your house or your life, though I believe the occasional good scare is beneficial to one’s constitution. But there’s another kind of ghost, a far more positive kind … When it comes to getting in touch with them, November helps. It’s easier to feel them in the wet chill of mid-autumn, with a predominantly gray sky blocking the sunshine…


John Carlson: Froggy Life Lessons

By: John Carlson— Not long ago, my wife gave me a gold frog. Well, a gold-colored frog. It’s actually made of rubber, so when you press down on its back and its body gives way, it feels disturbingly like a real frog would, I guess. This frog is mounted on a wooden plaque wired in back for convenient hanging, but I keep it within sight on the folding table that serves as my desk. Nancy, meanwhile, has a frog on…


Mother, Son Novelists Take to Sky

By: John Carlson— Without stretching one’s imagination, it was possible to believe the yellow and blue biplane crossing the runway threshold at Reese Airport was a Sopwith Camel or Bristol Fighter, with British roundels marking its olive drab fuselage. That’s why, on this blustery autumn day, Caroline and Charles Todd were flying in it. The mother and son are mystery writers, and very successful ones. Their 31 novels include many set against the backdrop of post-World War One England and…


John Carlson: A Truncated Tale

By: John Carlson— Nancy and I were vacationing recently at a favorite place on the Gulf Coast of Florida when a sobering realization hit. I could probably wear my ancient swimming trunks into the water, but there was a 99 percent chance they wouldn’t be walking back out of the water. Not with me in them, anyway. Either I was getting smaller or my trunks were getting bigger. Making matters worse, I didn’t see enough sea kelp and clam shells…


John Carlson: Black Licorice Addicting

By: John Carlson— It’s not easy being a black-licorice addict. See, you might love that stuff, but you never get enough. The reason you never get enough is, the photo above notwithstanding, you don’t always find it on store shelves. Sometimes when you think you have, you must examine it closely, or it’ll break your heart. This happened to me once. When checking out the Twizzlers area of the candy shelf in a local drugstore, alongside the more common red…


John Carlson: It’s Worth Looking Into

By: John Carlson— For my recent birthday, number 67, my wife bought me a garden gazing ball. Technically, my first choice of gift was, as always, an airplane. Not a big, expensive airplane. Just a little, old, cheap, used airplane somewhere in the $20,000 range would do, making me giddily happy to be back in the sky again. Didn’t get it, though. My second choice? A muscle car. Heck, I’m not picky. I don’t need a Corvette or a Viper….


John Carlson: These Pants Gotta Go

By: John Carlson— Ever have something you’ve anxiously waited years for, and then when you finally get it, it breaks your heart? Welcome to my cargo pants. Walking through Walmart two years ago, I spotted these neatly folded khaki Wranglers. On the tag, some rugged individualist like Brett Favre was throwing a football and looking like a real stud muffin in the process. The price was right, too. Even more to the point, they had so many pockets! These were…


John Carlson: Cooler Days Are Ahead

By: John Carlson— It’s never easy when a beloved family companion dies. The wheezing. The weird, disturbing sounds emanating from somewhere deep down below. The lukewarm yogurt. Uh, lukewarm yogurt? Oh, sorry. Did I fail to mention I’m writing about our old refrigerator? It had done a yeoman’s job of refrigeration since our move into this house three years ago. But once it begins showing symptoms of serious maladies, nothing really restores its health. Not God answering our fervent prayers…