My friends will tell you that I have (from their vantage point) an annoying habit of peppering, on occasion, a standard sign-off with “most likely.”

Colleague: “See you tomorrow, Paul!”

Me: “Yes! Have a good night, and I’ll see you on the morrow…most likely.” (I know, I know — I…

Amtrak’s Cardinal lumbered past the sleeping trees of West Virginia’s mountains. I sat in my compartment — feet propped up on the seat facing mine with Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited in my lap. …

Photo by Andrej Lišakov on Unsplash

To say that I agonize over decisions is an understatement. One way that I cope is with something my friends call The List.

“I got an Apple Watch. Check this out!” A colleague taps the screen and twiddles the “crown” to some unclear end. “Better put it on the list!”…

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

“Don’t buy anything — go for a hike!” I texted to a friend who takes an inordinate amount of pleasure in finding a deal. Wisely, she didn’t engage. I put my phone on a bookshelf and set off for the day’s adventure.

I jumped back from the road, my boots…

Paul Utterback

Teacher writing about literature, minimalism, food, simplicity, sustainability and education.

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