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People are interesting things. I write about them and what makes them interesting.

With all the heaviness, the struggles, and the endless political battles that seemingly engulf all corners of the world, I’m always amazed at how we continue to get up and get going each day.

From viruses to violence, stock market dips, gas price ups, school sessions out, and high-paying jobs hard to find, we manage to get up and get going each day.

What a wonderful statement on the resilience of regular people who find something in themselves to continue on no matter what comes at them. I hear often how hard life was during the depression and other darker…

I like picking up things that feel like they’ve always been there. This happened recently when I ran across a new issue of National Geographic. It was the latest issue out on the newsstand. So new, the pages close back up when you try to open it with one hand. Yet, it felt as familiar as those old issues stacked up in dusty bookshelf corners.

Seeing the bright yellow border on the front cover really took me back. The pages inside were filled with amazing photographs of exotic animals you only see in the movies. Sea creatures that look like…

Photo by Dusan Kipic on Unsplash

Every chance I get, I walk over to the city park, right in the middle of town, just to sit. Sometimes I take my shoes off to feel the grass in between my toes. A few minutes turns into an hour, and before I know it, I spent part of an afternoon just sitting, listening, and watching.

What I see and hear are the kinds of things that you read about in books of poems written by great authors. …

Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

Every day, during my fifty-minute drive to work and my fifty-minute drive back home, I see the movement, the rumblings of what looks like a society stretching its arms and wanting to get back up again.

People are walking dogs. The same lady in the reflective yellow vest is running around the same corner each day. As the sun rises so does steam off the rooftops of small businesses who are warming up neighborhoods with their baked goods and coffee.

School parking lots look a little fuller. Lanyards with name tags bumping up and down on chests are seen as…

My great-grandfather Elias Villarreal stands in front of a smiling moon, July 1912.

Each time I visit my great-grandfather’s grave, I think of the lesson taught in the animated movie Coco. The lesson of remembering and the tradition of respect to family.

I see his grave like it’s out on a forgotten island. It’s one of those simple graves with his name, Elias Villarreal, stenciled into a block of cement that frames the borders of the plot. There is no picture or fancy designs. No religious symbols or verses. It simply reads Elias Villarreal 1886–1939.

Most of the other plots in this older section of the cemetery are the same. Surrounding by dirt…

Photo by Adli Wahid on Unsplash

There is a popular YouTube series called Tribal People Eat. In each episode, villagers from Punjab, located in the north of India bordering Pakistan, try American-based food items they consider interesting and sometimes just plain weird.

The Punjab villagers, mostly men, wear traditional dress, often kurtas which are long, loose, collarless shirts made out of silk or cotton, as well as turban headpieces. Their colorful attire is only second to the entertaining ways that they describe their food-eating experiences.

I love watching Tribal People Eat because the modest and humble Punjab people are honest in their interpretations of what Americans…

Photo by Lance Anderson on Unsplash

Sometimes words get in the way. It happens when we want to describe something meaningful to us. Big and long words that make up big and long sentences make sense to us as we think of capturing exactly what we want to say about something important; and still, what we write or say ends up not making sense to most of everyone else.

I recently read a definition of what it means to be a community. It went on and on and as I read it I thought of an attorney’s office. Walls lined up with books that looks like…

Photo by sq lim on Unsplash

Every Thursday at about 4:20pm, a group of four guys get together for Coffee Club. The four guys are former colleagues who have now gone on their separate ways and what used to be a get together in a small university office, is now done by Zoom. The Club has been meeting weekly for five years.

Most people consider themselves members of an unofficial group of friends, a circle of comrades that meet to catch up on the latest developments at work or in our personal lives. My group is the Coffee Club. …

Photo by Lean Xview on Unsplash

Sometime in the future, I hope our children will be reading an article a lot like this:

From March of 2020 to March of 2021, Americans changed their growing habit of sitting and watching, and scrolling and liking, and threw in a little more listening and understanding.

From March of 2020 to March of 2021, instead of posting selfies, we started sharing moments that made others think about their own lives. Moments that showed neighbors and friends, families and loved ones.

From March of 2020 to March of 2021, we spent a little more money on things that mattered, instead…

What was the secret recipe the colonel was hiding from all of us?

Everyone remembers their first job. On the day I turned 16 years old, my mom told me to go out there and get a job. She said I was old enough to earn my own living. I should be making my own money, washing my own dishes, doing my own laundry — and that I should be doing everything on my own except living out on my own.

Like most teenagers, I didn’t get it. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized the logic behind most of what my parents told me all my growing up years. …

Abraham Villarreal

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