John Otterbacher
Author, Speaker and Adventurer

A Father’s Grace


     My heart is talking to me tonight. The ache in my chest takes me back to my father, an evening together twenty years ago. We are watching TV in my parent’s living room. Dad’s heart is damaged but it is not what will kill him. The Parkinson’s he has lived with for fifteen […]

Scotch Tape

Image of scotch tape on cut

SCOTCH TAPE?      When I swing into a parking lot to turn around, my boot slides on loose gravel.  My bike and I pitch to the left and over, my helmet hard against the asphalt.  I kill the engine, crawl out from under the bike and muscle it upright.      When I reach up to […]

What I Control

Sunset sky with clouds photo

     Weather has a way of putting self-importance in its place – TV forecasters with their brave assuredness, even the most seasoned sailor or cyclist in a great storm on the open expanse.      What do you really control?  To reef or not when the sea goes black, change the angle of attack on a […]

While You Can

View of a lake from the woods

Excerpt 3 from What Remains: It’s moving up on ten o’clock. Time to get on my way if I’m going.   I clean up the kitchen and pull on a boot, lace it up and pull on the other.   Then I freeze.   All the questions I’ve been swatting away turn back on me, […]


My father’s world bursts into flames, larger and larger doses of medicine in a losing battle with Parkinsons. His hand flutters up from rest in his lap, gesturing in alarm at the eruption of flames on the rug in front of the TV across the living room. “Do you see that?”, turning to me in […]