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Thanksgiving with the Von Trapps

It is strange indeed to be at the Trapp Family Lodge in northern Vermont as the world is chaotic with conditions not unlike those that forced the Von Trapps to flee their native Austria for Vermont in the first place. We arrived two nights before Thanksgiving, and it was already a cold and exquisite snowscape. ...

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Clue Connections

Scrabble is to board games what The Beatles are to rock groups, that is, so superior to all of its peers that it’s simply not fair to include it in the discussion. But once we remove Scrabble from the fray, out of all that remains, what is the best? Is it Life, with its plastic ...

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Convenience King

America turns everything into a competition, absolutely everything, and nothing is off-limits, even the sacred, like marriage. Given the rising cost of funerals, it is not hard to imagine in the near future a Home Makeover Death version in which producers come turn your Uncle Al’s humdrum funeral into something spectacular with a shiny new ...

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Rowan Oak

I’ve always assumed Faulkner was drunk when he named his house because there is no such tree as a rowan oak. There is a rowan tree, also called a mountain ash, and sometimes it’s referred to as rowan ash, but that’s as close as we get. It’s a bushy tree of northern climes with red ...

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Those Whacky Reenactors

Those folks who wear period clothing and reenact famous battles—I’m not sure I ever verbally poked fun at them, but I’m sure I spent some time thinking they were a tad goofy. But then again, maybe I didn’t. I’ve always had a quirky hobby or two myself, and for a long time I’ve openly admired ...

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Hyper-Content in Big Sur

The first time I’d ever heard of the Big Sur was my freshman year in college when I picked up Richard Brautigan’s novel A Confederate General from Big Sur. Brautigan was a writer who came just after the Beats but whose work resembled some of theirs, that stuff you love when you’re nineteen and even ...

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