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Wilmer and Lillian Averkamp and I sat together looking out on their barn on a perfect pre-fall, Midwestern morning.

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Diamond Lil took out an old brown notebook and started singing the handwritten, sweetly sentimental songs from the early 20th Century.

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We are meant to love.

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My students rushed into my classroom before school started.

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I am an American.

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Pickles! 

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An 18-year-old accumulation of box elder bug carcasses was packed inside the electrical wall socket when Brandon Roskom, electrical service manager for Top Notch, unscrewed the cover.

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Bryan Krug, the plumber, is both earnest and skilled.

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I am finding it difficult to return to the world of words after my 40 days of silence.

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I have just returned from what was a transformative journey. 

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Paul Holz, 91, grew up in Jo Daviess County, makes pies, served in Korea, managed the family farm at 14, and as a child lived in poverty. 

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Some return home.

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