The only thermometer the sauna has ever known exploded a long time ago, leaving a mercury-red stain on the cedar paneling, so it is impossible…

For the last decade or so, after each senseless shooting or climate disaster, social media is flush with one of Fred Rogers’ go-to explanation…

Tucked into the ivy just two hundred paces from the Eau Claire County Jail sits a pink house which you’ve probably never noticed. Built in the…

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Before I tell you about second-generation milk-hauler Wayne Myren, before I tell you about his truck, or the dairy farmers he serves, I need t…

There’s plenty of good news in the world even though lately it seems a little harder to find. Roughly 90% of what Americans see in the media i…

A few weeks ago, my son Henry and I embarked on a father-son adventure. Little planning or preparation was involved. I described our general t…

“You play with fire, you’ll wet the bed.” When I was a kid, my mom said this to me nearly each time we had a campfire. Recently I Googled her …

On August 22, author Ray Bradbury — were he still with us — would have turned 100 years old. It’s the kind of round number he’d have loved to …

The promise sounds too good to be true: your body will feel better, and you’ll have less inflammation. You won’t worry as much, and you’ll be …

Before the late congressman John Lewis coined the phrase “good trouble,” he and Jim Zwerg, a former Eau Claire resident, lived it out. I first…

Back in March when the safer-at-home measures were rolled out and the quarantine began, I felt confident that my family was well situated, and…

Eight years ago, after watching the Packers in a bar, my son bid on a 1987 Sun Tracker pontoon. Let’s just say Alex’s judgement wasn’t crystal…

Learning to ride a bike is as easy as learning to ride a bike. Which is to say: pretty darn hard. Especially when you’re 6. And my daughter. A…

I do not have a great memory and perhaps this explains why I have gravitated towards a life of writing. I have to write stuff down to remember…

For years now I’ve kept a “Visitors Log,” a notebook where I write a few lines about what occurs when anyone comes over: family and friends, d…

We have only so many days, so many years, and almost none of us know with certainty when that time will expire. I think about time more than w…

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The first pandemic-related shock for me came late in the afternoon on St. Patrick’s Day when I heard that Wisconsin bars were closing. COVID-1…

Of the many cultural touchstones Wisconsin has to offer, none are more celebrated (and with greater zeal) than our legendary (and endless arra…

I click on the article “Want to Fall in Love with Your Partner Again? Science Says to Ask Them These 36 Questions” for the same reason I’m wea…

Almost a month ago, the singer-songwriter Bill Withers passed away. His death was no doubt overshadowed by the COVID-19 quarantine, President …

I stumbled upon the Facebook group “Our Old Town Chippewa Falls” just after its January launch. I wasn’t hooked until Deb Stone posted a pictu…

An hour before her death, I reached for the skillet, then prepared for Cici — our 12-pound mixed breed — the best fried egg this side of Heave…

Ten years ago, I was a new graduate student at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop. Part of my responsibilities included teaching one o…