Loving My Trees and Resenting My Neighbors

Several weeks ago, on a Sunday afternoon, our area was blasted by a mercifully short but severe thunderstorm. In the wake of 90-mile-per hour winds, fortunately most houses were intact. But the power was out and hundreds of decades-old trees were battered, uprooted, or otherwise destroyed. Yards were buried in branches, streets were blocked, and […]

Reflections on Turning…Well, Getting Older

This year, I will “celebrate” what’s commonly referred to as a milestone birthday. Not just any milestone, this is of the “downhill from here” variety. Contrary to what many younger people might believe, getting older has some serious benefits, like the kind of wisdom, experience, and confidence I craved 10 years ago and finally see […]

Soul Traps and the Parable of the Zoo

One day a squirrel and a blue jay, who often saw each other foraging for food in a secluded corner of the park, struck up a conversation. The squirrel had noticed that, like a typical blue jay, the shy bird fled and hid in the foliage each time a human came near. Curious, he asked […]

Armor at the Beach

I don’t play poker, but maybe I should. I’ve got the face for it. I developed my “poker face” early in life, but my leadership roles have helped me to perfect it. My ability to keep my emotions off my face—and to maintain a steady exterior—has seen me though many sticky situations. Like any skill, […]

The Good Old Days

On a visit to the St. Louis Gateway Arch a couple of years ago, I bought a copy of a book I couldn’t help noticing in the gift shop: The Good Old Days—They Were Terrible! This book, written by Otto L. Bettmann and published in 1974, contains photographs and written descriptions of life in the […]

On Wildfires and Wind

Today I’m feeling vulnerable. Last week, like most people, I watched the news unfold as wildfires spread across Colorado and consumed so many homes in Colorado Springs. Staring at images of flames consuming those houses, I felt the same sense of helpless shock as everyone else. I also felt a sickening sense of recognition. A […]

Why I’m Not Shocked by Fifty Shades of Grey

Well, this book has created quite a stir. From blogs to backyard barbecues, from Saturday Night Live to moms sitting by the pool this summer, it seems everyone is talking about Fifty Shades of Grey. Many people have written Christian responses to the popularity of this title, reflecting disgust and sadness over the idea that […]

Disrepecting Dads, Part 2

…continued from Disrespecting Dads, Part 1 Dads, you’re not idiots; you’re not extraneous. We all need you. Not to be stereotypical men, not to be a new kind of men, but just to be your best selves, engaged with the people in your lives. You may not realize most moms are terrified by the role […]

Disrespecting Dads, Part 1

Two weekends ago, I participated in a 5K run at Chicago’s Soldier Field, along with thousands of other people. Why the great turnout? It wasn’t because the event offered a beautiful course for running (it was pretty lame, actually). Not because the competition was good (it wasn’t), because the weather was nice (it was way […]

The Women’s Candidate?

I’m not a fan of politics. In fact, I cringe at campaign ads, rallies, debates, bumper stickers, and just about everything else dedicated to helping people grab and maintain political power. I have a couple of friends who watch the details of elections the way baseball fans watch statistics, the way serious investors watch the […]

© 2012 Amy Simpson.