Posts from December 2021

No Mere Mortals

A dear friend of mine works for an organization that helps resettle immigrants and refugees in Buffalo. I’ve heard from her for years about her work—this Burmese family who hopes to start a restaurant, that Congolese man who was recently reunited with his large family, this Iraqi woman whose name could not be disclosed for fear of violent repercussions. And while I have always admired my friend’s work, I am ashamed to say that I did not pay a lot…

Twice As Nice

A few years ago, I got a cantaloupe at my local Aldi grocery store. While I’ve always been something of an Aldi evangelist, I’ve also always been suspect of their produce. As an inhabitant of a northern state, my rule with Aldi produce is this, particularly in the winter months: the hotter the climate the item was grown in, the less likely it is to be good by the time it gets to Aldi’s northerly shelves. Of course this is…

Grandfathered In, Grandfathered Out

I have always been fascinated by the idea of “the grandfather clause”. The phrase dates back to England’s King Henry II, who declared when he became king in 1154, “Let it be as it was on the day of my grandfather’s death.” His cousin Stephen had been king after a series of family conflicts and deaths, and Henry was glad to have the throne restored to his direct family line. Henry wanted several of Stephen’s decrees undone, which led to…