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Last Monday evening I’m sitting in a board meeting. Actually I’m supposed to be running this meeting, but someone’s cell phone started ringing. And kept ringing. Nobody made a move to answer it. I was getting irritated because I find this quite rude. Then it dawned on me. It was my phone that was ringing. But it wasn’t the usual ring tone. It was the kind of ring from an “unavailable? number. You know, like when the police call, but that•s a topic for another blog. I don’t normally answer my phone during board meetings, but I just had a feeling about this one. And sure enough it was my long, lost, only begotten son! “Alex! Where are you?? •Uh, Alaska.? •When did you get there?? •Last Saturday.? •How was the trip?? •Good.? •What’s Alaska like?? •They have really big mountains.? This is about as much detail as I got. But at least I have a phone number to call him back! I restrained myself from doing just that until yesterday morning. It was early there still so I talked to my brother for a bit. He was grumpy because it was raining and he couldn•t get to some of the chores he planned, but relayed a few of their adventures to me. Then Al got on the phone. “Hi honey. How’s it going?? •Good.? OK. I know you•re supposed to ask open-ended questions, but I figure anyone who just traveled 2,800 miles would have a LITTLE more to say! After more prodding I learned they had visited a wild life sanctuary and saw wolves, and mountain goats and lots of birds. On the way home a black bear walked across the road in front of them. It had been raining, and one of the windshield wipers broke off. “And there’s a lot of trees. In all three directions.? Three directions? What happened to the fourth? I•ll try to find that out on the next phone call.

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