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“It’s All Good”

I am indebted to my sister, Brenda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for mentoring me with the phrase “it’s all good.” You see, Brenda has had her fair share of trials and tribulations in this world, which would have probably brought a lesser, characterologically-intact, person to their knees begging for mercy and looking for any way out. But not my baby sister for whom the motto “it’s all good” is a clarion call to arms, vis-a-vis, the moral road less-travelled in the face of chronic, insufferable and unremitting adversity. Brenda has struggled with thyroid cancer replete with multiple associated auto-immune disorders...
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"Oomph!"

I’ve always been infatuated with the word “oomph!”I like the way it sounds akin to a traditional Zen “mantra.” The sound seduces all with an “oom” at the start,And concludes with a powerful “ph” sound at the end. If you listen carefully, what do the sounds of each enunciated word elicit deeply within you?Especially, if you string-out the “o” in “om” to say “o-o-o-o-o-m-m-m-m-m;”Or if you exaggerate the “oo” in “oomph” to say “oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-mm-mm-mm-ph-phph?” The other appeal of the word “oomph” is how it subjectively feels internally.For me, there is a palpable emotional tone which invites both serious and vivacious participation....
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My Bout with the Flue

One winter windy city weekend in 1984, my wife, Barbara, and I were nearly killed by a squirrel but were saved by two dogs – and my sister.   The weekend promised to be uneventful. Typical frigid February, Chicago-style, blustery wind, blistering wind chill, sub-zero deep-freeze temperatures, windows shuttered, furnace on, non-stop, and us keeping warm in our cozy (read: very small) Evanston starter home. We planned to stay inside the entire weekend. I was working feverishly on my dissertation and Barbara was catching up on paperwork and house-cleaning. Sometime on Friday, unbeknownst to us, a squirrel fell down the chimney and...
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