Archive for December 2014

My Florida Christmas: Fake snow and warm hearts

I just returned from a 10-day odyssey through Florida that included my first ever warm weather Christmas. It was the land of plastic yard decorations, including life-size wise men gathered around a plastic babe, and fake snow blowing out from the street lights covering nearby cars with sticky-looking suds. It didn’t feel much like Christmas.... Read more »

My childhood memory: The ice crusher - suddenly I could ice skate

My friend Helen invited me over to her house. We were ten or so and lived a few blocks apart, me in a red brick apartment building, Helen in a handsome gray house down a twisty and treed Southside street. She lived right next to the park and its pond. I’d been there before and... Read more »

Ms Crankypants and me: My blogging goals for 2015

Let’s call these goals, not resolutions. Resolutions have a bad reputation, for good reason, as they are generally dismissed as soon as they hit the screen. (I almost said paper, but that is hopelessly outdated.) In 2015 I will: Post more often, shooting for twice a week most weeks Add photos, at least some of... Read more »
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Grief at the Holidays Part II: How to spend the holidays with your lost loved ones, in a way

Even though you no longer can feel their hand on your shoulder, or reach them on the phone when something comes up – do you know that we all do that, reach for the phone and then get the stab of recognition that they have no earthly phone anymore –you can still reach them, and... Read more »

Grief at the Holidays Part I: Celebrating despite your grieving heart

I used to know that the holidays had arrived once I received a phone call from the local radio station, or a features reporter from the newspaper. “As a counselor, what insight could you offer for people who struggle through the holidays burdened with losses, disappointments, loneliness?” I would offer the standard fare – lower... Read more »

The worst gift I ever gave: My mother, honesty, and the Christmas gift that went back

The worst Christmas gift I ever gave was to my favorite person, my mom. She was an honest person, and a kind one, so when she said with certainty that this gift had to go back, I knew that it was a major fail. Who, I said to myself, wouldn’t like to receive a set... Read more »
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Where can you see David Bowie, Alexander McQueen, and decades of our history? Run to the Museum of Contemporary Art before it's too late

If you are in Chicago, run to the Museum of Contemporary Art and see the David Bowie Is exhibit.  If you are elsewhere, fly in. Chicago is the only stop for this extravaganza in the U.S. Hurry – it’s only here until January 4, 2015. Even though I was around for David Bowie’s entire career, I... Read more »

Do you know where your vinyl albums are? The story of a reunion

On my living room floor lies my entire collection of record albums, and I mean real albums, not those tinny little new-fangled CDs. Although I’m not sure I get to call it a collection if I haven’t touched it in 10 years. I blame my son, a new vinylphile, for getting me started on this... Read more »