These stories of loss and remembrance, acceptance and affirmation, are set in the rural American Midwest in the middle and later years of the twentieth century. They chronicle the lives of three different families, a son and his parents, a wife and a husband, and a boy and his mother, all struggling to maintain themselves in difficult times and learning what it means to be together-and apart. In each story a moment comes when it seems that something cherished-a place, a way of life, or a prized possession-may have to be given up. Either holding on to it or letting it go will have enduring consequences. Life on the other side of it will be lived in its light, whatever choice is made. In this exacting circumstance a way must be found to yield to necessity, yet not be overcome by it. The author was born and raised in Page County, Iowa and lived for many years in rural Wisconsin and Illinois where he worked as a field man for the Dairy Herd Improvement Association and later as a carpenter. His experience of country life in these places informs the stories in this collection. He has served on the staff or as a board member of numerous non-profit organizations devoted to conservation, historic preservation, alternative agriculture, education and the arts. He has a BA in History from Park College and a PhD in Philosophy from Yale University. Since 1985, he has been a member of the faculty of St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His essays, stories and poems have appeared in a variety of publications including "The North American Review," "Orion," "The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists," "The Mother Earth News," "Farming Magazine," and "The St. John's Review."