Category: Family

  • How are you doing?

    How are you doing?

    I get that question a lot. Friends. Family. Coworkers. Every visitor and phone call. Every text and email. When people started using it after my heart attack last week, it seemed like the social lubricant “Hi, how are you?” we all say to start conversation. Except it isn’t. Normally, we use it to start conversation, […]

  • I almost died the other day

    I almost died the other day

    Seriously. Heart attack while shoveling snow. The surgeon told my wife that if we hadn’t called 911, I wouldn’t have made it. I had the widowmaker heart attack. Named in the days when they didn’t think women had heart attacks, this occurs when the artery feeding the left ventricle (the big blood pump) gets clogged. […]

  • A Short Piano Journey

    A Short Piano Journey

    My son played piano when he was a kid. Unfortunately, I pushed too hard on the practicing and he left it behind when our piano teacher moved away. But he had skills…maybe someday he will choose to play again.

  • Saving lives is in their blood: Three generations donate blood

    Back in 2012, I was travelling with one of my daughters to Oregon to see my dad. As I have mentioned elsewhere, my dad has long been a blood donor. Kelsey was interested in starting, so this happened. Story from TV station KVAL in Eugene. John Bredesen, his son John Jr. and granddaughter Kelsey, all […]

  • My Dad’s 85th Birthday

    As I sit down to write this little note for my dad’s 85th birthday, it is hard to wrap my head around all the ways he has influenced me. The fabric of his personality is such a part of me; it is difficult to extract the specific threads. So I’ll pick two of them for […]

  • Phoenix Residence: My sister is now on the Board of Directors!

    My younger sister lives in a group home operated by Phoenix Residences. The staff do an awesome job in a challenging financial situation. My older sister** was recently elected to the Phoenix Board of Directors. I think her analytic and communication skills, along with her compassion, will be a great addition. Congrats Sis! ** Special […]

  • The Christmas Model Train

    The Christmas tree train went up today. Like every year. I remember having a model train when I was a kid. The old 3-rail O scale. It had a diesel engine and some really cool cars. Ok, John, stop with the description and search the internet for it…bingo — found it on my first search […]

  • Thankfulness

    Today is Thanksgiving, a time to be thankful.  I am very thankful for my health. Knock on wood, I have dodged severe health issues.  I am very thankful for my family. The household I grew up in had love and books, both of which, through zero effort on my part, set me on a good […]

  • Rainier: Remembering a great dog

    In 1999, our family moved back from Seattle, WA to St. Paul, MN. Shortly after arriving, we got a dog. A black lab/springer spaniel mix that we named Rainier. In 2012, Rainier passed away. He was a great dog. I wrote a short piece when he died. A quick note about the photo. The […]

  • I’m 59 years old and I just got a tattoo

    I never wanted a tattoo. It isn’t that I had anything against them. I remember seeing them as a kid. It wasn’t very often but some of them were pretty cool. But I never had a drive to get one. Until now…

  • A Very Good Friday

    It was a Good Friday. Both literally and figuratively. I was sure about the literal part as we were heading up North for Easter, and it was Friday, so, you know, Good Friday. The figurative part was going to depend on whether I could pull it off. Joyce and I had been dating for a […]

  • Laugh lines by age 40

    Laugh lines by age 40

    Saw an ad on TV the other day for wrinkle removal. They called them crow’s feet or laugh lines. I’m not going to get into the larger women, appearance, society conversation as there are better posts by smarter people covering that topic. What I want to do is write in defense of laugh lines. First, […]

  • Childhood Books

    Amazon threw a recommendation at me the other day: The Little House. It got me thinking about other books from my childhood. I bought most of them when my kids came along and read them many times all over again. Some of them are still on the shelves down in the basement. In no particular […]

  • Beer Can Collecting

    Beer Can Collecting

    This is a picture from the little history display at the Debuque Star Brewery. It brought back memories. I was a beer can collector in my early teens. It was fun and since I had no clue what beer was like, was the closest I could get. My friends and I would check out the […]

  • What is yet to pass…

    Nothing like a graphical representation of every day of your life to put things in perspective… It turns out that when I graduated from high school, I had already used up 93% of my in-person parent time. I’m now enjoying the last 5% of that time. We’re in the tail end. It’s a similar story […]