Archive for September 2018

Learning about Native Americans firsthand

“Are you a native?” I asked the Lyft driver who was taking me to pick up a rental car in Albuquerque. I meant native of Albuquerque, but she thought I meant Native American. It was an understandable assumption: New Mexico has a higher percentage of Native Americans, almost 11 percent, than any state except Alaska.... Read more »

In containers, creeping charlie is not a weed

In containers, creeping charlie is not a weed
“My definition of a weed,” the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Tim Johnson wrote in his Chicago Tribune gardening column, “is a plant that is growing where it is not wanted.” I had started to compose a post that began the same way: The best definition of a weed is anything that grows where you don’t want... Read more »

Leaving the Catholic Church but not leaving it behind

Every member of my family but me is still Catholic. Some liberal friends remain Catholic as well, considering the church their parish and not the institution. I couldn’t do it. I hesitated to write a post on this topic because I didn’t want to offend anyone I care about, but nothing I say can be... Read more »
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Hometown prison opened for tours

“When did you get out?” We Joliet natives are used to getting that question. Two prisons aren’t my hometown’s only claims to fame. Joliet had the first junior college in the nation. Basketball star George Mikan, actress Mercedes McCambridge, children’s author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and singer-songwriter Lionel Richie were among the luminaries with Joliet roots.... Read more »