A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Daddy Debrief: He Speaks for the Trees

One of my guilty pleasures is watching videos of how things are made. Yesterday, when I was on the computer, and should have been doing more productive things, I was watching a video of how lumber is made. A few of my ancestors ran a sawmill so I guess there was a heightened curiosity. I […]

Learning to Fly

The boys became obsessed with a young cowbird last week that seemed to be lost. They believed it had fallen from its nest and was trying to find its way back. It was fairly large for a young bird and had the tiniest tuft of down feathers on top of its head. Other than that […]

Daddy Debrief: Contem’play’tion

As an artist, I’ve been wondering how other artists have fared during the pandemic. Personally, I haven’t found it a very creative time, though I’ve always felt contemplation was the most important part of creativity and if there’s a time for contemplation this is it. If it’s true, then the world should be on the […]

Daddy Debrief: Food Security

When the pandemic hit New York state, the first food item I thought of stocking up on immediately was flour. Then beans and rice. And judging by the shortages at the grocery store, so did a lot of other people. I make and eat lots of bread. When I was in my twenties I got […]

Daddy Debrief: Quarantine

We are now entering week three of our quarantine, like much of the world. Thankfully, we are healthy and have had no obvious symptoms. It has been hard for Finn to be away from a number of his friends. The saving grace has been that we live next door to wonderful people whose children are […]

Daddy Debrief:  Going Screen less

By David DeWitt When I was a teenager my family would sit down to Sunday dinner and my Dad would take the phone off the hook. The teenagers would protest. “What if our friends try to call us?” “They’ll call back,” he’d say. “What if there’s an emergency?” “Everyone’s eating dinner,” he’d say. Sometimes he’d […]

Daddy Debrief:  Late Night Contemplations

By David DeWitt Children point out what’s important when your thoughts are mired in worry or uncertainty. They bring you back to reality. To what’s in front of you. “Oh my God! You HAVE to come look at this! Right now! Come quick!” Finn will say once or twice a week regarding the sunset. “It’s […]

Daddy Debrief:  The Dreaded Tick

By David DeWitt Our little family all tested positive for Lyme a few weeks ago. Finn first, then Erin and myself. It has not been the best experience for a feel good column. Finn had a pretty bad first week with a severe allergic reaction to the antibiotic but has bounced back since he’s been […]

Daddy Debrief:  YEAR of Discoveries

By David DeWitt We are nearing the end of our first year of homeschool. Going into it, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into, but it felt like the right thing. Now having gone through a whole school year, I can say with certainty that I’m still not sure what I’ve gotten […]

Daddy Debrief:  Little Monsters of Spring

By David DeWitt Literally, on the first day of Spring, a robin came to our bedroom window at sunrise and tapped, three pecks at a time as if to say, “Hello! Hello in there! It’s spring! Time to come out and play!” She looked like she was about to burst—ready to lay eggs. Tap, tap, […]

DADDY DEBRIEF: RIGHT ON TRACK

By David DeWitt I was hoping to hide my vintage Lionel train set from Finn until he got past his search and destroy phase with toys.  Well, perhaps search and dissect is a more appropriate term.  He really likes taking things apart and putting them back together.  Unfortunately most of those things never make it […]

DADDY DEBRIEF: ANCESTRY

By David DeWitt “I do love a good mystery!” Finn said as we were tromping through the snow earlier this week on a midday walk. We were tracking something. We guessed it was a raccoon. The tracks were very clear in the otherwise undisturbed snow. “You like a good mystery, huh?” I responded. “Yeah, you […]

Daddy Debrief: Bread

By David Dewitt We make bread fairly often in our household. “Cooking class” has become part of our homeschool curriculum, but making bread has been a part of our routine for some time. Finn’s preschool and kindergarten years at Acorn Waldorf School reinforced that with a weekly routine of “bread day,” where the children mill […]

Daddy Debrief:  Father, Teacher, Farmer, Jokester

By David DeWitt My Dad passed suddenly and peacefully four days after Christmas at the age of 91. Though his health had been declining over the last few years, I agree with the numerous people who have said “One is never prepared for the passing of a parent.” My early childhood memories came rushing back […]

Daddy Debrief: Field Trip

By David DeWitt Finn and I are roadies right now. Erin is performing with the Omaha Symphony in their annual Christmas show and we’ve come along for the ride. It’s kind of surreal sharing this experience with Finn. The last time Erin and I spent more than a few weeks in a hotel we were […]

Taking the Helm

by: David Dewitt Our brief summer vacation is a memory now. Always too short. A few days is barely enough to catch one’s breath. This year we met up with Erin’s family on a little Island in Lake Erie. The fact that the island was on the Canadian side made the trip a little more […]

Making Magic

By David DeWitt I have watched kids of friends and relatives go through the Harry Potter phase and wondered if Finn would do the same.  I needn’t wonder anymore. Finn has close friends who have seen the movies and had the books read to them, so he has embraced the Harry Potter world wholeheartedly in […]

Daddy Debrief: Art Hike

By David DeWitt It was the night before Erin was going to be teaching a number of voice lessons back to back at home and Finn and I needed to make ourselves scarce for most of the day. “Where are you going tomorrow?” Erin asked, probably knowing I hadn’t thought of anything yet. Finn looked […]

Daddy Debrief

Mud Pies By David DeWitt It was the end of Erin’s teaching semester and she wanted to get away for a few days to mark the close of her school year. She found a Groupon deal for two nights in a little hotel in Vermont that wasn’t too far away but enough of a change […]

Daddy Debrief

Carousel Ride By David DeWitt     There was a noticeable silence in the backseat of the car while I was running a recent errand with Finn.     At a stop light I glanced in the rearview mirror to see if he was napping.     Instead he was staring out the window lost […]

Daddy Debrief

  Crag Day By David DeWitt     Happy Crag Day! Finn said, descending from the bedroom upon awakening.     The day before, he’d expressed wanting to hike to the rock formation in a nearby preserve.     The forecast had promised perfect weather.     There were doubts about making it all the […]

Daddy Debrief

  Making Christmas By David DeWitt     During dinner, following an unusually long moment of silence, Finn sighed heavily and, as if suddenly having a huge realization, said:     “Daddoo, I REALLY need to get a new sewing kit. With LOTS of cloth and needles and everything.”     “Really, why is that?” […]

Daddy Debrief

Puttin’ on the Ritz By David DeWitt     There was a Sunday morning routine that took place in my childhood household, before the whole family piled in the car and headed to church. The shining of shoes was central to it. And that was usually followed by all the boys combing our hair with […]

Daddy Debrief

Dance Party By David DeWitt     If there is one characteristic that stands out in Finn’s behavior lately, it’s that he wants to get his groove on.     Fall appears to have ushered in a time to dance.     And of course, that means we have to follow suit. (Who can refuse […]

Daddy Debrief

Detours By David DeWitt It was a family outing that was not going well. Everyone was grumgry, the term we use for deteriorating emotional states in absence of sustenance. We had packed a picnic but 30 minutes into our journey we noticed the gas light was blinking. We probably would not make it unless we […]

Daddy Debrief

Off Duty By David DeWitt     The other day I was trying to get Finn’s attention.  He was sitting in a chair staring off into space. I can’t remember why it was important for me to interrupt him but nevertheless I did.     “Finn,” I said for the third or fourth time.   […]

DADDY DEBRIEF: REACHING

By David DeWitt     Spring here this year has been outstanding. Even now the dogwoods and rhododendrons are holding on.     In contrast to last year when just after the buds began appearing, a cold snap killed off most of them, blunting the impact of that extra lift you normally get from the […]

Daddy Debrief: Building

BY DAVID DEWITT On a recent afternoon I was raking, removing the winter quilt of leaves from the flower beds.     A few yards away Finn was busy with a project of his own. He was piling sticks and bricks on the patio where I had just cleaned.     I feel as though […]

Daddy Debrief: Trainee

  By: David DeWitt Finn and I went to the Model Train and Hobby show in Kingston, NY a few weekends ago. It was a welcome respite from the news headlines and somewhat of a comfort to be among people of seemingly different backgrounds, peacefully coexisting—over model trains. It was kind of a slice of […]

Daddy Debrief: Early Thaw

By David DeWitt A couple of days ago the temperature rose above sixty, which is becoming more common for winter it seems. We made a trip to the reservoir to take a walk. We weren’t the only ones with that idea. There were more cars than I have ever seen there. Finn saw a melted […]

Daddy Debrief: Reunion

By David DeWitt After Christmas we made an overdue trip down south to visit my parents. As it turned out, my brothers and sisters, most of whom had been there for Thanksgiving when we were unable to attend, returned for an afternoon—creating a gathering that we hadn’t seen for over 10 years. My Dad suffered […]

Daddy Debrief: A Snowball’s Chance

I grew up in the South but moved to New York in my twenties. It occurred to me recently that I have lived in the North for much longer than I did in the South. The one thing I’ve never adapted to is the cold weather. When the winter moves in, I want to hibernate. […]

Daddy Debrief: Election

Two days before the now infamous election, Finn was in full sobbing meltdown. Perhaps a foreshadowing of half the country, if not the world. He was inconsolable because Erin had just explained that he would not actually be able to vote himself. “But I HAAAVE to!” he sobbed. If only everyone felt so strongly about […]

Daddy Debrief: Playtime

On a balmy fall “Indian Summer” evening just after sunset, Finn was having a hard time with the idea of bedtime. Refusing to come inside, he found one thing after another that he had to do “one last time.” “I just need to swing from the rope one more time,” he said. I lifted him […]

Daddy Debrief: Beginning Again

Fall brings memories of grade school and the smell of new school supplies. There are no traditional school supplies to get yet for Finn, but we did go shopping for some new rain gear, which he enjoyed trying out in the store a day or two before his first day of kindergarten. “I have to […]

Daddy Debrief: Mosquitoes and Meteors

We had our second annual camping trip with Finn last week. Erin and I have decided that camping is in a category of its own, separate from vacation. The idea was to camp on the beach. It was late in the season when we booked the reservation so there was little availability. We would have […]

Daddy Debrief: Separation

Lately I’ve been performing again. Singing and acting.   Something I used to do with more regularity years ago but had not pursued very much after Finn was born. Rehearsals have required me to be in the city away from Finn and Erin for a couple of long stretches.  It’s the first time Finn and […]

Daddy Debrief: Reality

by David DeWitt Erin and I got new phones this week. Our old ones weren’t holding a charge for very long. It still seems odd to me that something that is supposed to have superior technology has only a few years use. I bet the land-line phone I had as a kid would still work […]

Daddy Debrief: Sweet

A few days ago at breakfast, Finn got up abruptly and went to the refrigerator. I suspected it was to get more maple syrup since I had just observed him carefully scooping the amount I had given him off of the top of his oatmeal and slurping it down.   “Finn,” I said. “Don’t worry […]

Daddy Debrief: Trust

I took Finn with me to vote this week. In the car on the way I was trying to explain the concept to him. “It’s like being asked to raise your hand if you want something,” I said. “Except everyone in the State is being asked who we want for President. We can’t see each […]

Daddy Debrief: Balloons

by David DeWitt A few weeks ago Finn and I were fighting monsters in the back yard when he said, “You have to get that red lobster monster over there!” I went along with it and pretended to fight a big lobster. But he wasn’t satisfied. “No it’s really over there in the bush,” he […]

Daddy Debrief: Worry

by David Dewitt A day or two ago I found myself in a bit of a funk worrying about something and Finn picked up on it. “What’s wrong Daddoo?” “Nothing,” I said, lying through my teeth. “Ok. Well come over here. This will help you feel better. Come play with me.” And of course he […]

Daddy Debrief: Winning

by David DeWitt This week our little family had its first real game night. That is, the first where Finn wasn’t trying to make up his own rules or rake all of the game pieces into a pile. The game of choice was Zingo. Kind of like Bingo except with little pictures on each square […]

Daddy Debrief: Now!

by David DeWitt If there is one thing children are on earth to do it’s to continuously challenge our concept of time. After all, it isn’t natural this business of numbering the months, days, hours, and minutes. Finn’s natural tendency is to explore the moment until it has reached it’s natural end before moving on […]

Daddy Debrief: Heirlooms

by David DeWitt    A few nights ago during after-dinner conversation with friends, Erin was poking fun at things that I have held onto over the years. Two manual typewriters, a small film projector, and a couple of vintage sewing machines usually get honorable mention during these discussions. If it goes on long enough, my […]

Daddy Debrief: Transition

by David DeWitt    On a hike with friends this past week a strange being inhabited my child, replacing the slightly awkward son of a few short months ago. We live close to a trail that leads to a beautiful waterfall. The 15-minute trek requires scrambling over some rocks and boulders. It was impossible for […]

Daddy Debrief: Superhero Sessions

by David DeWitt    In the midst of a marathon Batman/Spiderman play session Finn suddenly realized that he wasn’t wearing any pants.  “Batman!!! Where are my red pants?!“ he yelled. I couldn’t help but for a moment imagine that line being in one of the Batman or Spiderman movies, and what might have led up […]

Daddy Debrief: Musings from a Hudson Based Dad

by David DeWitt When Erin and I decided nearly five years ago to have a child, my first worry was of having the physical energy to do so. I saw my former high school classmates on Facebook becoming empty nesters and grandparents. I was embarking on territory where I had no peers to look to […]