The Four Most Dangerous Words

Like many of my contemporaries, I had a collection of things (drawings, sports photos, awards, short essays, and so on) from when my two children were growing up and still at home. In my case, one wall of my study was covered in family memorabilia. 

We now have grandchildren, and the oldest (3) is starting to produce some pretty stunning works of art. The others will be sure to follow soon, and their pieces obviously deserve to be displayed. I decided it was time to retire the first generation’s creations.

When the wall was bare and what had hung there was safely stored away in a hermetically sealed container, I looked around the study. When I got to my desk, I said to myself the four most dangerous words connected to any project. While I’m at it, I thought, I should probably clean out that desk.

Two hours later, the paper recycling box in my study is overflowing, the trash can is half full, and I’ve got three of those “I’ll decide about this thing later” piles scattered around. There’s a shelf next to the desk that should really be the next thing to tackle, but so far I’m resisting. After all, I am retired, and as a friend of mine recently said, a retired person should only do one or two things a day. Certainly no more than that.

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A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

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