Dear Dan,

I’m going to do a cross-post here. I don’t have the heart to do two posts.

On July 25, 2007 you wrote a note at home, had a friend drive you downtown, and then jumped off a parking garage. I can’t say that I understand the thought process behind that decision, but let me speak to the last line in your note: “Suicide is painless. M.A.S.H.”

Was it? Was it really? Or was hitting the ground at high velocity a lesser pain than whatever you were going through?

Whose pain are we talking abut? Yours? Maybe it was painless. However, I think the mental anguish leading up to the actual event had to have been pretty painful.

So were you talking about the  pain of the people who love you? Then I call bullshit, bro. Nine years later and I feel that pain as intensely as I did the day you took your own life.

So life goes on. After a fashion, maybe. I look at mom. She doesn’t know what day it is and I’m not telling her. Between the dementia and the pain pills for the shingles, I’m lucky if she knows her own name. And hey, she doesn’t even remember that you committed suicide. On the days when she remembers she had a son named Dan, she thinks her daughter is that son. Yeah. Fun times.

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Moment of OSB Silence

Trying this again because something went wrong. This is from “Our Sunday Best”


Hey everybody, Trae here. Today is Sunday and normally that would mean another riveting edition of OurSundyBest. And we had one in the hopper too, almost done, but honestly it just feels….wro…

Source: Moment of OSB Silence



I’ve never seen a mortsafe. I’ve heard about them. I’ve heard about mortsafes in the South and Europe, but not in Pennsylvania. Then I heard about not one, but two in a small cemetery in Catawissa. This type of mortsafe was popular in Scotland, but there is some evidence that these two are the only “caged” graves in the U.S..

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Why, oh why, Mr. Pye?


Mr . Pye is my beautiful, mouthy, four-year-old mini-panther (black cat). Of my three cats, Pyewacket is usually the one locked into a routine. Any variable in the routine is liable to make him run for cover. Pye is also my one flight risk. Careful when opening the door. There might be a cat trying to run out.

For some reason, he has recently decided that he needs attention in the middle of the night. Starting at about 1:00 AM, we had an endless night of Pye getting up in front of the TV, climbing on kitchen counters and knocking things off, climbing on the nightstand and knocking things off, crying for closed doors to open, revenge-bathing his sisters while they were trying to sleep, and getting on the foot of my bed to vigorously chase his tail.

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Telling the story

Beech trees

Courtesy: Malene Thyssen (Own Work)

Recently, I’ve been thinking about why I blog. I don’t really have a talent for writing, so why even blog?

Years ago, I read Elie Wiesel’s The Gates of the Forest. In it, there is a story of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism. It’s something like this:

When his people were threatened with grave danger, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov would go to a certain place in the woods, light a fire, say a certain prayer and the danger would be averted. 

Years later when the people were again threatened, his successor went to the certain place in the woods and said, to God “I know the place int the woods; I know the prayer, but I don’t know how to light the fire. This must be enough.” It was and the danger was averted.

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