Posts in category "Uncategorized"

Time Travel Back to Your Childhood: It's still there

Yesterday, columnist Mary Schmich told a tale of inviting an older man in from the sidewalk to see the Chicago flat he grew up in, her flat, a beautiful read, as always with Mary. It ignited my memory of a visit I made a couple of years ago, when I was like the man on... Read more »

What I learned at the estate sale: Some endings come at the right time

The signs went up overnight: ESTATE SALE. By the time I went out for my morning walk, cars were everywhere down the street and around the block, surrounding the severe Mid-century modern house, all concrete and corners. It was sidewalk-colored, and looked like it should have a loading dock. From the outside, it looked like... Read more »

Revising Amazing Grace to solve the Wretch Problem

I love to hear “Amazing Grace,” the tune, and the testimonial for transformative change, something a former therapist like me is on board with. I like grace as a concept, and appreciate the long view, imagining that “ten thousand years” hence, the concept would still be powerful. I’m good right up until the line about... Read more »

Future forecast: Book comes out, author swoons

Expect a party on the day when the book I’m working on comes out. I’ve had the idea for years to write about the secrets I’ve learned about grieving, a little specialty of mine. The reasons I need to write it are: 1. I’ve been at it since I was a little kid – the... Read more »

What if France wasn't there anymore? A dispatch from Normandy

I am just back from a trip to France and full of what-ifs about what might have prevented or shortened the suffering there in World War II: What if Hitler had been accepted into art school in Berlin? He turned his attention elsewhere after the second rejection. What if there had not been an unexpected... Read more »

Letters to a New Mom: The first 3 things you need to know

Welcome to your new life. It will involve the biggest give and take that you’ve ever seen: You give them everything from rattles to tuition, and they take your heart and carry it around with them for the rest of time. That’s the deal you’ve made. They will grow and you will grow. They give... Read more »

The worst idea I ever had: Student teaching

I knew it was a mistake the very first day. There I stood, in front of a classroom of students at Lindblom High School. They looked somewhat interested to see what would transpire with this totally green, uncertain, freaked-out student teacher before them. How did I get myself into this? My fear is usually a... Read more »

5 things I learned from the Polar vortex visit to Chicago

Chicago is in the second day of thirty to forty degree below zero wind chills, and Chicagoans are busy congratulating each other about how we withstand our suffering, which constantly makes us ever smarter and stronger. I have learned a few things myself. 1. Appreciation of the little things, like my furnace and fireplace. 2.... Read more »

A Christmas grace that doesn’t mention God – Really?

How do you invite people of all religious and non-religious stripes to your Christmas Day table? Mainstream Christians have it easy – they have a common language and a shared viewpoint, and the words just flow. The rest of us can feel left out, marginalized, or at least uncomfortable, when our beliefs are not included.... Read more »

Watching from afar as my friend lost her battle with cancer

I watched from afar as my friend Susan died from a fast-spreading cancer that took hold in September, and let go in June, thirteen years ago now. We had been friends since college, and my family had recently moved to her town, imagining years of shared times ahead. She had this pain that wouldn’t go... Read more »