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February observations

A summary of what was included on More to Come in the month of February. If you receive my monthly email update, you can skip this post.

Yes! We made it through February, which I’ve frequently called the longest month of the year. It turns out there’s some truth in that jest. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, January and February were the last two months to be added to the Roman calendar (c. 713 BC); originally, winter was considered a month-less period. So we can all be thankful that February is only 28 days…as opposed to almost 60!

We’ve covered a lot of ground in these four weeks, with the big milestone being the 1500th posting since More to Come was created in 2008. 1500 and counting gave me the opportunity to highlight the piece with the most views over that time as well as a favorite essay from each of the 15 years. With a word total over that time that tops 1.1 million, that’s a lot of words! If it’s any consolation, I don’t know anyone who reads them all. Not even Candice. She does, however, hear my opinions live and often provides real-time feedback. As a result, the worst ones never make it to you, dear readers.

Besides the milestone post, let’s take a look at what else caught my attention in February.


With the increased number of book reviews on More to Come (MTC), it was only a matter of time until I tried my hand at interviewing one of the authors of the 60+ books I now read each year. The first one, where I interviewed author (and friend) Janet Hulstrand about her new memoir A Long Way from Iowa, was a big hit with readers. Check out The best journeys are the long ones to learn about the complicated relationship Janet had with the two women who fueled her love for learning, writing, and exploration; understand how she handled challenging parts of her own story in crafting her memoir; and get a whiff of her adventures, from serving as Caroline Kennedy’s editorial assistant to living in a gypsy caravan outside Paris.


Over the course of February I also wrote three posts to keep abreast of what’s happening in today’s world and in my life.

First, the funeral of a treasured family friend led me to consider some of the control issues I’ve had throughout my life. I wrote in Letting go that this was the funeral we should all aspire to, as it included a sublime cello solo, more laughter than tears, reflections that one wished went on longer, and bourbon at the reception. While my friend and her family suggested that she had control issues, I think that the outpouring of love that came forth at the funeral was the result of Jo giving up control to serve others.

I’ll see you at the ground-breaking was a summation of thoughts (mine and some opinion writers) about the success of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address in capturing his vision that “grows the economy from the bottom up and the middle out, not the top down.” Don’t believe everything you think is an essay on the need to think slow, in order to recognize harmful myths and help build constructive stories that support all Americans.


In honor of Black History Month, I have been exploring the work of musicians of color who are reclaiming their musical heritage while taking us forward musically and socially. This year’s series featured terrific young artists, some of which were new to me. Take some time to visit:

  • The hero of my own story with the singer, songwriter, poet, and activist Allison Russell was technically posted in January…but it really did kick off this series.
  • The authenticity of Kaia Kater looks at the work of this talented young musician who brings influences and history from Canada, Grenada, and Appalachia into her music.
  • A new kind of American troubadour featuring Nigerian-American singer-songwriter Joy Oladokun. Her music was a revelation, and I had a couple tell me later that they couldn’t get enough of her music.

In addition, just a reminder that during the MLK weekend, I also featured the work of Ruthie Foster, which should be included in this overall celebration. One regular reader said he was so taken with her music that he went through and listened to them twice. Check out all these amazing musicians!


Yes, the books I read in February covered a number of my personal interests, and I hope you’ll find one (or more) that piques yours.

  • In search of paradise by Pico Iyer is both an external odyssey and an internal journeyas he explores a number of our holiest, yet very troubled, sites of paradise all around the globe. A fascinating and mind-expanding voyage.
  • Happy Valentine’s Day includes my all-time-favorite Valentine’s story. When Mr. Hatch learns the identity of his secret admirer, it is more wonderful than he could have imagined.
  • For those who just can’t keep up with everything on the to-do list, check out Things just take the time they take. Oliver Burkeman, a self-described “recovering productivity geek”,has written a thoughtful and provocative book that encourages us to embrace the paradox of limitations, stop frenetically doing tasks, and begin to really experience the wonder of the life that is all around us.
  • For my monthly murder mystery book, I read Agatha Christie’s Dead Man’s Folly. One fun fact you’ll discover in Piecing together the puzzle: the estate in the story is based on Christie’s own holiday house, which is now owned by the British National Trust!
  • Also, as a bonus look ahead, I ask readers to picture a Jewish academician, an Anglican historian, and a Catholic seeker walking into a bar. No, this is not the start of a bad joke. Those are the authors ― highlighted in an Ash Wednesday post ― that I’ll be reading this year as part of A Lenten reading practice.


Thanks, as always, for reading. As you travel life’s highways, do your best to treat others with kindness, undertake some mindful walking every day, recognize the incredible privilege that most of us have, and think about how to put that privilege to use for good. Women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, and others can feel especially vulnerable…because they are. Finally, work hard for justice and democracy because the fight never ends.

More to come…


You can follow More to Come by going to the small “Follow” box that is on the right-hand column of the site (on the desktop version) or at the bottom right on your mobile device. It is great to hear from readers, and if you like them feel free to share these posts on your own social media platforms. 

For the January 2023 summary, click here.

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


  1. Margit Williams says


    I so enjoy all your musings, book reviews, travel blogs, etc. Thank you! You provide more suggestions for reading than I will ever get through in a lifetime with all the other books I have on my lists. The good news is that I will never be bored 🙂

    Take care, Margit

    Margit Bessenyey Williams, PhD 813-431-4057


    • Dear Margit, Thanks so much for your kind comment. I love getting book recommendations (and travel tips) from others, so I’m delighted to hear that the ones I put out there are well received. Yes, a lifetime of reading is the perfect cure for boredom! Take care, DJB

  2. Pingback: March observations | More to Come...

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