Setting Sail into the Storm

One hundred years ago and only the old watermen would have known: a great storm is approaching. So late in the year, the lowering sky and restless wind could be chalked up to October’s moods. But in 2012 the Weather Channel blares the oncoming drama from every flatscreen. OK, I’ll confess: I’m right there with them, those eager meteorologists. This is their moment, and it’s the best reality show on TV, stealing the ratings from not only Real Housewives and Storage Wars, but the last gasps of the Presidential election. There’s good old Jim Cantore, knee-deep in surf, gamely reporting at the risk of his own dry socks. I love this stuff.

Footprints

For a Michigander, summer seems to last forever in the Southern Maryland. Of course, I've been preoccupied with the Big Move, but today, a fortnight past Equinox and I'm marveling: suddenly the forest has been glazed with transparent  yellow. Leaves are floating to earth on the steady breeze off the river like a shower of golden …

Get me to the River

Yesterday was our first sweltering day this summer, appropriate, perhaps, on Summer Solstice. My mission was to fetch a friend from BWI airport, normally about a 75 minute drive. For some reason, traffic was jammed in all directions, and especially coming back. ugh! The outside temp at 6:45pm was 97f/36c but ten minutes later, eight …

Boats Gone By

My dad Peter Henkel  (1929-2001) was always a trickster: a rebellious kid, a young man with a reckless streak. A  real romantic, he fell in love with my mother the moment they met. They both loved the whole 'Roaring Twenties' era and so when I was about three bought a 1930 Chris Craft speedboat to restore. …

The Speckless Sky

Have you ever been re-united with a piece of music, after such a long time that it makes you feeeel things? Wednesday night I went to hear two musical heros (both Canadian!) at Wolf Trap, the splendid outdoor performance venue in Virginia. We sprawled under a clear blue sky (while it poured down rain at …

Resistance to Change

I heard it took extra dynamite to destroy the foundations of the old Henkel Flour mills, when the Detroit riverfront docks were being renovated. It pleases me that my great-grandfather's legacy was so stubborn. Odd, since I so often want to smash the past and break that rigid shell of pretending we were all shiny …