Archive for May 2014

Here Comes Summer: The Truth About June and Summer Vacation

Thinking back on it, I was always anxious about June. Even in years when I disliked the demands of the school-year schedule, all of the changes that summer represented were stressful. As a young child, I remember feeling at loose ends, and as a teen I worried about finding a decent summer job. With my... Read more »

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: Sharing Pauline’s Story of a Life Lost to Mental Illness

My husband never knew his grandmother, Pauline Rose Levey. His father told him she had died, and since his father grew up in an orphanage, it seemed like a plausible explanation. But she didn’t really die until 1966. All those years my husband was growing up, she was buried alive in a mental institution, where... Read more »

Children With Special Needs and my Mended Crystal Vase: Precious but Handle with Care

A favorite crystal vase of mine fell from a shelf and broke. I don’t know why or how it happened, but there it was in pieces on the floor. I was heart broken. I loved that vase. It had been my grandmother’s and was precious to me. My husband, who is an excellent puzzle worker,... Read more »
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Advice to New Graduates: Trust Yourself and Be Your Own Advisor

The best advice I received when I graduated college was no advice. That was back in 1967. In those days, once you graduated from college, your parents’ job was finished. There would be no more advice from them, and certainly none worth following from an inspirational speaker. Prior to that, the little advice I received... Read more »

If You Cancel the Kindergarten Show, Do It for the Right Reason

It’s the Manic Month of May – and every kid must perform. Parents, you know what I mean. Kids from age three through high school are putting on productions for school and after-school activities. Those of you with more than one child are juggling a complicated calendar packed with special events. The show must go... Read more »

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month and One Little Girl Sings, "Let It Go"

When I learned my granddaughter Ava had cystic fibrosis almost five years ago, I felt like I had been punched in the gut. My daughter had just given birth to her second child (thankfully he did not have it). How would she manage caring for a new baby and meeting all of the demands of... Read more »
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Letter to a New Mom: One Mom's Mother's Day Message for her Daughters

Dear Daughters, I raised you to believe you had to do it all.  You were brought up with books like The Practical Princess in which the princess had to rescue the prince herself in order to live happily ever after.  You danced to the songs from Free to be You and Me and I encouraged... Read more »

Thoughts About Good Teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week

Forty-five years ago, I stood in front of my students at Niles East High School in Skokie, Illinois, and tried to breathe life into A Tale of Two Cities. For a rookie English teacher, it was definitely “the best of times and the worst of times.” Some of them loved the book but there were... Read more »

Grandparenting in a Box – Mother's Day Thoughts About Skype, FaceTime, and Virtual Connecting

My grandparents lived close by and were a regular presence is my life. But times have changed and kids and grandkids can be scattered all over the place. Luckily, we have our screens to connect us with those little ones we love so dearly. I have taken an unscientific survey of my friends with out-of-town... Read more »
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Soon There Will be no More Cursive Writers to Buy Fountain Pens

I have a cousin who makes fountain pens with inkwells. When I asked his sister why, she explained that they were beautiful, collectible, and made letter writing fun. And he loved creating a unique thing of beauty. My first association to pens and cursive writing was the fountain pen with a turquoise ink cartridge I... Read more »