Season 2


Richard talked a lot about vocation when his kids were young. The word stuck with Margaret. When asked about it, Richard took them in so many different directions, they decided to devote the entire podcast season to it.

Ep.1 – Cosmic Theologian

Margaret asks Richard why he talks so much about vocation. His answer spans time and space—from Luther’s understanding of Beruf in the year 1517 to Richard’s current theology about what holds the universe together.

Ep.2 – Good Will

People popped up in Richard’s life along the way and gave him direction. Call this vocation, good will, or “breaking the spell”—it altered the course of his life. And it all started with the neighbor, Mrs. Masek.

Ep.3 – Henny and Ernest

Richard, the son of a working class father and a mother with higher aspirations, found a way to honor them both through his vocation. Richard’s sister Erna helps memorialize their resilient lives.

Ep.4 – Hellish Jobs

What does vocation mean in a hellish job? In the 1950s, the Ministers in-Industry-Program put seminarians to work in steel mills to teach them what the industrial system does to people. The lessons still apply today.

Ep.5 – Bold Move to a New World

Richard is about to embark on his final journey. He recounts an earlier voyage with his young family to their new home in the Philippines, where he fulfills his dream of a new vocation. 

Ep.6 – Mr. Richard

Richard is in hospice and needs caregivers 24-hours-a-day. He marvels at all the attention. For his caregivers, it’s vocation in the deepest sense of the word. Richard makes the case for public support for caregiving.

Requiem for Impossible Matter

Richard imagines life after death on an undiscovered planet in a far-flung galaxy where he can recreate his life with his beloved wife Eunice. Margaret has a message for listeners.

Archives, Sibs,
and Toss

Richard and Eunice left behind a 100 boxes’ worth of personal papers and family records. Margaret and her sister Kerry must dispose of it all.

Season 1


Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, Margaret’s 95-year-old dad Richard was cheerfully riding it out in his senior living residence. This podcast captures the voice of a father and his children, as they cherish their time together on earth.

Episode 1 – Interference

Margaret and her 95-year-old dad Richard struggle with the technical details of their recording project.  This first episode of the podcast tracks their progress through hilarious and poignant moments.

Episode 2 –
On pulsars, wavelengths, and beating hearts

Richard and his daughter Johanna explore the physical, emotional, and spiritual planes of human existence while exercising on Zoom.

Episode 3 –
Keep on rollin’

Richard and his grandson Sam sing popular songs from an earlier era during an afternoon at the Morris Arboretum. Daughter Erika talks to Richard about how he helped Sam come into his own.

Episode 4 – Counting votes in Philadelphia

Richard revels in living in Philadelphia—the historical heart of U.S. democracy and the home of his son Scott—while waiting anxiously for the votes to be counted in the 2020 U.S. Presidential election.

Episode 5 – Lockdown blues

When Richard stops answering the phone and getting out of bed for Zoom meetings, his daughter Kerry finds a new way to reach dad—before a new wave of restrictions are imposed at Thanksgiving.

Episode 6 –
In one lifetime

Richard reflects on the connection between his life’s work and that of his daughter Erika, who is leading the Biden/Harris transition team for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Episode 7 –
A fruity guy

Fruit brings Richard joy, especially papaya. But the fruit cup at Richard’s senior living residence leaves something to be desired. Richard must work on his son Scott to keep him in fruit.

Episode 8 – PT to the rescue

Richard’s physical therapist Jennifer has saved his life…more than once! Jennifer keeps an eye on him and, with training, persistence, and ingenuity, helps Richard keep it together.

Episode 9 – Bird insurrection

Richard and his daughter Margaret investigate the bird insurrection, while humans attack the U.S. Capitol and President Trump is impeached for the second time.

Episode 10 – Live! from Coleus Earth Station

Richard and his daughter Johanna co-host a radio show, broadcasting signals through plants in their earth stations. Tune in for some deep listening to the sounds of the universe.

Episode 11 –
The money episode

Money is an emotional trigger for Richard and it rubbed off on his kids. Margaret’s sisters unpack the family dynamic, starting with the Hotel Eden luxury suite incident in Rome, 1968.

Episode 12 – Hitchhiking with Ben

Richard’s grandson Ben tries to interview him about cars, but the conversation soon goes off track. Richard (and Margaret) are confused by Ben’s line of questioning at first, but Ben quickly gets the hang of this business.

Episode 13 –
Rhythm of the seasons

Richard’s been clocking his progress through the coronavirus pandemic by the seasons, hoping he would make it to this point. Now that he’s made it to Spring, it’s time to end Season 1 of this podcast and pause for reflection.

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