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An ordinary life

Thursday, February 11, 2010

His was, by all accounts, an ordinary life. I first met him when he was nearly 70, and I was not yet 30. He was a quiet, Mennonite man who enjoyed reading — and writing — poetry in his spare time. I was an newlywed expecting my first baby. I wrote nothing remotely close to […]

Words can be deadly: Bullies can go digital, beyond the classroom

Thursday, February 4, 2010

“Sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you.” I have always hated that fable. Words do hurt. Words can kill. Fifteen-year-old Phoebe Prince chose to take her own life rather than deal with what has been characterized as “relentless physical and cyber bullying.” Prince was besieged in school, via text […]

Embracing my inner grouch

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You hear all the time about embracing your inner child, but what if what you have is less an inner 8-year-old and more an inner 80-year-old? So to speak I was kind of mature even as a kid, downright stodgy even. Take grammar for instance. There is an attempt by “kids these days” to embrace […]

Armed and maybe dangerous

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It was the men with guns at the door that convinced me more than anything else that I wasn’t living in the suburbs anymore. Thirteen years ago, I faced my first morning alone in my “new” old house by way of crouching low by the door, peering up over the windowsill, as three strange men […]

Still hot stuff after all these years

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Though not as young as she once was, she still prepares up to three meals a day (and snacks!) without complaint. She manages mountains of holiday cooking as well, rising early to make cinnamon rolls before moving effortlessly to roast turkey and ham. Year-round she is always up for a quick batch of cookies, and […]

Christmas Crow

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My husband and I are polar opposites in many, if not most, ways. He is athletic. I have two left feet and no more competitive edge than your average tree sloth. I am a grudge holding introvert. He is gregarious and forgiving. He is a math whiz. I find that even fifth grade mathematics causes […]

I am dreaming of a just right Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2009

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” — Erma Bombeck Some gather on the eve and some on the day. Some prefer to leave home, and others to stay. Whatever your preferences or plans may be, Christmas is a time of hopes, dreams and glee. There […]

The gifter that keeps on giving very badly

Thursday, December 17, 2009

There is a long-accepted seasonal stereotype that says that women love to give amazing gifts and men are incapable of doing so. Chuckles abound each year as commercials, sitcoms and general conversation all imply males would happily — and haplessly — give vacuum cleaners and dish soap as Christmas gifts if our nation’s jewelers didn’t […]

The more you give, the more you receive

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last week, my son opened a door to a pantry full of food and proclaimed that there was nothing to eat. Granted, he is 12, and if there are no snack chips, carbonated beverages or cookies then the cupboard is deemed bare. Still, it struck me that people who have all that they need and […]

The pros and cons of Christmas pro shopping

Thursday, December 3, 2009

In life there are two kinds of people: those who start shopping for Christmas Dec. 26 of the previous year, and those who wait until Black Friday (or later) to even think about crossing anything off their holiday shopping list. Many people delight in having their shopping “all done” prior to Thanksgiving. They are at […]

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