A poem

Photo by Ashley Bean on Unsplash

I think my pen is leaking.
Typically, not a life changing thing.
But with the things I like to do

Like my drawing and writing,
Losing a pen can be a setback.
I don’t like setbacks.

I don’t know anyone that likes setbacks
Setbacks are not fun. We like to go forward
And, by definition, setbacks set us back

But then I realize, almost everyone like setbacks
Just like a great fall. Everyone loves to see
A great fall. Just not the personal kind.

A set back for me is horrible. A setback
For someone else is…


Dispatch from June 2020.

Photo by Max Brinton on Unsplash

There comes a time to venture out again, even in a pandemic. Clearly, everything is not normal now.

There are unknown risks in the world.

We humans aren’t good with unknown risks.

I’m sitting again at a table on a screen porch of a rental beach cottage. I’m on the annual trip with the in-laws.

My thoughts are a mess.

The second quarter of 2020 may go down for me as one of the most muddled times of thinking clarity I’ve ever experienced. I know many others are feeling this way as well. I read it every day on social…


Rainy camping on Saturday Afternoon

Author photo: Picnic Table Near Sunset

Let’s not be so excited all the time. We don’t always have to have excess. For what is excess to some may be mere survival to others.

I thought I lost my pen again. But really, I just had it tucked into my hat. I was about to accuse one of the young kids milling about, but I’m glad I checked myself first.

On trips like this, things tend to move without you knowing.

The current scene is a local county park in the area. Our group has rented an “island” off the park for our weekend camping trip…


An open letter to my kids and their world.

Author photo: Cartoon drawing of the kids

Dear Sunshine Personified, Daddy’s Little Drop of Sunshine and Sunspot Baby,

As each of you has joined our family I’ve always wondered if I’ll ever be able to express the thoughts and emotions that have flooded my consciousness.

Perhaps one day you’ll feel it too.

Life changes in unimaginable ways.

The emotions you feel are ephemeral.

I think I’ve found a brief way to express the way I feel about you in this moment.

I hope you never reach you goals.

Depending on what stage you’ve reached in life…


Memoir and parental ephemera at the beach

Photo by Timothy Meinberg on Unsplash

Are you familiar with the concept of the Time Value of Money?

It’s a great concept that can be very important to understand in life.

If you aren’t familiar with it, a quick online search gives me a definition that it’s the concept where

the money available at present is worth more than the identical sum in the future due to its potential earning capacity.

So a hundred bucks today is worth more than a hundred dollars a few years from now. …


Stay at home with a soundtrack.

Author Photo: Sidewalk Chalk Zoom

I’m not sure what day this would be if we’re counting stay at home days for the coronavirus.

I haven’t really been counting, but my work made their move to work from home two weeks ago, and the kid’s schools shifted a few days later. We had already made the decision to keep them home before the schools finalized their plans. There’s a lot more that goes into that decision for a school system over one hundred thousand than a family with two elementary kids and a toddler. The daycare is still technically open, but we decided to keep the…


A Poem

Photo by cyrus gomez on Unsplash

Open up again
Don’t know if I can
Maybe with some help
From that bottle on the shelf.
Danger lurks in every eye but somehow I
Trust some more than others. I’ll base
My life on one glance at me. I’ll
Know their minds through their eyes.
I’ll just open up completely to what will
Come and I’ll know it…whatever it…

Yet another to mention in my list
This very interesting and intriguing
A chance happening for both of us
Still don’t know anything about her
But her name
And a name is enough to carry
Through life along with the memory
Of the odd attention that…

Mark A. Schrader

Self awareness, #parentalephemera, memoir and poetry.

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