“All of our toil / is seed in the soil / the hand on the plow / the midnight oil…”

The door swings open. The little old man is beaming. “Welcome to my humble abode! Come on in. I hope you can stay awhile. Would you like some tea? Coffee? Nesbit’s Grape Soda?”

He takes your coat and scarf and hums a happy little tune as he hobbles to the kitchen to fetch your beverage of choice. You get the distinct feeling you have made his day just by showing up on his doorstep.

“Have a seat on whatever looks comfortable,” he yells from the kitchen. “If it’s covered with books and papers just toss them on the floor. Or you can sit on the floor. Just make yourself at home.”

You feel at home already but are not ready to sit. There are too many curious objects filling every nook and cranny of the room. You know without asking that each of these oddities has a story behind it — especially this… this… whatever it is in the left-hand corner of the third shelf.

Out of the corner of your eye, you see the old man returning with your drink. You spin around and pretend to be choosing a seat. But it’s too late. He knows you’re curious.

“Ah,” he chuckles, “let me tell you the story behind that…”

You lose track of time as he regales you with bittersweet stories and tall tales, lessons he learned the hard way, and even a few songs he wrote many, many years ago. He’s just another aging Baby-Boomer, full of wisdom and folly, cleverness and cornball, insights and contradictions.

Okay, so I’m not that old and I stand six feet two (and seldom hobble or hum) but I do hope the imaginary scenario just described sets the ambiance for your visit to my humble online abode. Thanks for stopping by! – Loren Harder.