Donut Debacle

Valentine Brkich June 24, 2019

So my dad calls me on Thursday evening. “I’m going to get some Oram’s cinnamon rolls tomorrow morning,” he says. “You want me to get you some?” Every once in a while my dad drives to Beaver Falls early in the morning to pick up a box of Oram’s legendary pastries, which he then passes out to…

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A Lasting Impression

Valentine Brkich June 5, 2019

It was Saturday afternoon and the second day of the annual Pennsylvania Bigfoot Camping Adventure at Benner’s Meadow Run Camping and Cabins in Farmington, Pa. For a full day, my daughter and I had been camping out and enjoying the various speakers and vendors, all centered around the legendary hairy man of the woods.  Not that I believe in…

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We Haven’t Lost the House. (Yet.)

Valentine Brkich May 29, 2019

Five years ago today, I walked away from the highest paying job I’ve ever had. And a company-match retirement plan. And a comprehensive health care plan. And a guaranteed monthly paycheck.  No, I didn’t have a massive head injury. I just wanted to take a shot at freelance writing. In the years since, I’ve never…

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Sofa, So Good

Valentine Brkich April 17, 2019

“After nine miserable years, we finally get a new couch!” We were enjoying a late lunch at Athens Family Restaurant in Beaver Falls when The Animal made this pronouncement. I mean, my wife and I knew our old couch had seen better days, but it was news to us both that our son had been so miserable his entire life…

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Save the Last Dance for Me

Valentine Brkich February 14, 2019

I don’t like dancing. Don’t get me wrong, I got rhythm. When a song comes on with a good beat, I can tap my foot just as good as the next guy. Just don’t ask me to dance.  Unless, that is, you’re my daughter. I don’t know when it all started, but whenever the radio…

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No More Stuff! (For Now.)

Valentine Brkich January 16, 2019

I remember when we actually used to dine at this dining room table. Sweet mid-January! Oh, how I adore you! Your, bleak, gray, frigid days notwithstanding. It’s a small price to pay for not having to worry about any more BLEEP-ing presents. From the day after Thanksgiving until my son’s birthday in early January, it seems…

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Hey, You Kids! Stay On My Lawn!

Valentine Brkich January 7, 2019

My garage is a heavily armed military base for repelling an attacking enemy-droid army. My parked pickup truck is a troop transport on some days, on others it’s an inter-galactic spaceship. My entire yard, in fact, is a battleground for Nerf-gun-armed zombie killers and light-saber wielding Jedi. Such is life when your property is…

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Lying Through Our Teeth — A Christmas Tradition!

Valentine Brkich December 5, 2018

When your kids are still pretty young, it’s easy to convince them of crazy things. Things like fairies exist. Or that an enormous bunny sneaks into their house overnight and leaves them plastic eggs filled with candy. Or that an overly jolly and slightly rotund old man with a long white beard can somehow squeeze down the way-too…

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October Mindfulness Challenge – Day 31 – The End

Valentine Brkich October 31, 2018

It’s hard to believe, but I actually did it. Thirty-one days without Facebook and Twitter. Thirty-one days without reading, watching, or listening to the news. Thirty-one days (well, almost) of meditating and writing every day. Thirty-one days of trying to be more mindful and present in the moment. Needless to say, it’s been a…

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October Mindfulness Challenge – Day 26 – Children of the Corn

Valentine Brkich October 26, 2018

My heart pounded as I crouched in the corner of the field, carefully scanning for any sign of movement. I knew they were near, hunting me. I could hear them moving through the dried stalks in the distance. Just when I thought I was safe, I heard footsteps to my right. Turning toward the noise, I saw him coming straight…

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