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TreeHouseLetter

TreeHouseLetter

By Veteran, Mother, and Writer
True stories, essays, and letters on important matters and nonsense. From work to words ... from the military to motherhood to mountains.
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On Becoming Sheepdogs, A Modern Fable

TreeHouseLetter

On Becoming Sheepdogs, A Modern Fable

TreeHouseLetter

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Father and His Letters
A dying art, a gift from yesterday, there's nothing so full bodied and rich as  words on paper. Photos may capture the appearance in any given moment, but words, his words, they capture his mind and spirit
04:52
June 21, 2021
Memorial Day, Reflection and Celebration
On generational service and the reasons we serve. Remembering  sacrifice and celebrating a new Army lieutenant in the family. 
14:30
May 31, 2021
April Dreams
A Story and Two Short Poems: by a Zen Monk & Mary Oliver
09:18
April 26, 2021
Two Truths and a Lie, a Fools Game
April Fools Day and Humor in Uniform. Three stories from cadet life.  The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are right sometimes. Churchill
08:06
April 1, 2021
I Met a Man at the Top of Chimney Rock
“Would you mind if I take off my shirt?” he said.  A story from a retreat in North Carolina.  The Odyssey, the Devil, and a Home
11:42
February 10, 2021
Family Travel in a Pandemic - By Air and By Land
Fun things-to-do and great eats in Key West. New Year's on Wheels - Road trip (Ct to VA) and family skating. 
14:03
January 7, 2021
Giving Thanks in 2020 & Simon's List
Tough times define us.  Whitman's Ghost or Simon, played by Joe Pesci in the 1994 film With Honors, shares a message. 
06:56
November 27, 2020
Spirits of the Fall: Episode (4) Toddler Vision
Brady Shattan joins us to talk about spirit friends, his guardian angel and extrasensory perception.  
37:41
October 31, 2020
Spirits of the Fall: Episode (3) Visits From Beyond
What happens when someone dies, when the worldly connection is broken?  Where are the healers and the mediums and the shamans today?  This is the third episode in Spirits of the Fall: True Stories of the Season, eerie occurrences, real-life horrors, ghosts, and second sight.
15:35
October 26, 2020
Spirits of the Fall: Episode (2) Where the Driveway Ends
Second in the series of the season: real-life horrors and ghosts.  
13:48
October 20, 2020
Spirits of the Fall: Episode (1) In the House
This is the first in a series of True Stories for the season, of eerie occurrences, real-life horrors, visits from the beyond, haunted rooms, and childhood visions.
15:10
October 14, 2020
Learning to Run
Fall is the season for running. This story is about failure and mastery, how that became a commander's story.
15:30
October 8, 2020
Would You Kneel? A College Coach & a Veteran on the National Anthem
Thoughts on the anthem and the flag, what they mean. 
09:41
September 24, 2020
Birthday and Death Day, Catholics and Customs
A graveyard visit on a father's death day and a daughter's birthday.   Maya Angelou's advice on the legacy of departed loves. 
13:45
September 5, 2020
The Vulgar Parrot
I've gotten to know my son better now that he's left. 
24:10
August 12, 2020
On Becoming Sheepdogs, A Modern Fable
Today’s letter is about something that matters, an important debate happening in society right now. In the wake of recent events regarding the tragic death of George Floyd and the ensuing protests, this letter is more relevant than ever. It has been updated to relate my own experience and the role of the brave men and women who are called to the profession of arms, with a special thank you to those in the West Point Class of 2020 who graduated this weekend. These young officers have taken an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, giving their life if necessary, so that all Americans might enjoy the blessings of a free nation.
30:48
June 14, 2020
Memorial Day Reflection - Two Poems and a Tribute
Death of a Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell and Twilight by Lucretia Maria Davidson A tribute to my Uncle, a South Vietnamese officer who never came home
05:03
May 26, 2020
Why Nursing Homes Suck
My story about a Nursing Home. Some Gorey stuff, some sad stuff,  some crass stuff.  What gives life meaning? what would great writers say?
16:32
May 17, 2020
Are We Killing the Fat Man? The Corona Trolley Dilemma
Consider the pandemic crisis and the moral claims of shutting down the economy. What are consequences, good and bad? How do COVID deaths compare to other mortality data?
14:47
April 17, 2020
For The Class of 2020 During the Pandemic
A pulse on High School and College Seniors, where they are and how they're doing. Taking comfort in poetry and a mother's wish. 
07:02
March 23, 2020
The Three Gifts - What have you learned in 50 years?
A child's note, three gifts, and Leo Tolstoy's famous story
10:28
February 28, 2020
On Presidents, Politics and War, and Poetry
You ever have that moment when something you’ve believed for some time begins to shift and slip, leaving you a bit off-balance?
11:00
February 13, 2020
Raise Your Glass! A Toast by W.B. Yeats
Three simple toasts, suitable for most occasions, and easy to remember. And, a little about the semicolon. 
10:25
January 31, 2020
The Light in Your Day - a New Take on Winter
How much light do you gain each day in January, over the month? and the next months? 
07:42
January 17, 2020
Solzhenitsyn and the Gulag - A Russian Novel About Your Life
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn What can we learn from the Gulag? About the military, about the body and soul?
15:21
January 8, 2020
A Book for Everyone, Even Nonreaders and Grinches
With special guest Hayley Swinson, writer and editor, on how books help her get into the season.  On receiving books and giving books. 
24:45
December 6, 2019
Giving Thanks in 2019 - Looking Back on Life's Big Questions
A friend in hospice talks about time, love, friendship, and the search for meaning.
08:24
November 28, 2019
TikTok Connect the Dots - the United States and China
 A college freshman and a Vietnamese centenarian on China.  Hong Kong Protests, Confucian Centers, TikTok security.
10:31
November 21, 2019
A View From Above: Army Colonel Ken Mintz on Afghanistan
A true, gritty account of the American Soldier and a child's role, in the longest war in U.S. history.  Visit treehouseletter.com to see photos.
26:47
November 8, 2019
You've tidied up your closet and your house. Why not tidy up your writing?
Thoughts on writing from Dreyer's English and Brandon Royal's Little Red Writing Book.  Get rid of useless words. How many drafts until finished?  Grammar Versus Style and the Big Three Nonrules
14:38
October 30, 2019
Murphy's Law and the Army Ten-Miler
Did you know that Murphy was in the Army? 
16:17
October 15, 2019
On Poetry and Mondegreens and Teenagers
Why memorize poetry and what's a mondegreen? 
11:19
October 10, 2019
The Making of a Myth or Legend - Stephen Siller
Do myths and legends shape the stories we tell? Hear Stephen's story and retrace the steps he took.  A 9-11 memorial.
18:48
October 3, 2019
For the Love of Milk
Sometimes a search for one thing leads to another. Like this Burl Ives folk tune: On a summer's day in the month of May, what was the burly bum singing of? 
18:04
September 24, 2019
A Case for the Personal Letter
In the Digital Age, do letters still matter? What about a dusty box of letters in the basement? 
12:36
September 16, 2019
Suicide and Suffering - Army Veteran and Secular Buddhist on the Four Noble Truths
September is Suicide Prevention Month. Hear a story and learn about the Four Noble Truths.
09:41
September 12, 2019
Whales, Migration, and Back-to-School
What can whales teach us about learning and mastery?
14:45
September 3, 2019
In These Walls
Unexpected summer visitors
10:17
August 25, 2019
Kili at 50 - Episode 3 -Summit Assault and Days 5 & 6
Hiking Kilimanjaro on the Machame Route in Six Days - learn about the final days and Kibo, the volcanic summit
15:59
August 12, 2019
Kili at 50 - Episode 2 - Jambo! Dreadlocks & Day 4
Episode 2 - Hiking Kilimanjaro in the Machame Route, Day 4
12:42
August 10, 2019
Kili at 50 - Episode 1 - Hiking Kilimanjaro on the Machame Route in Six Days
A middle aged account of Kili and more. First episode on Days 1 to 3 and the guides.
13:10
August 9, 2019