Category: Observations

The Father's Day letter that traveled from a sock drawer, to an underwear drawer and finally, a sweater drawer

Back in my twenties,  I heeded the advice of “Dear Abby.” She implored her readers not to give Dad another tie or shirt for Father’s Day. His closet is already overflowing with those. Instead, she advised, write him a letter and tell him what he means to you. So I did just that. When I called him on Father’s Day, he sounded... Read more »

I lost my beloved mother twelve years ago. Thankfully, I still have Mrs. McGarey

Mrs. McGarey appeared at our front door with a platter of ham and cheese sandwiches and a pitcher of cold lemonade forty-five years ago. It was moving day. Chaos. Furniture scattered and boxes piled high in every room. My dad had taken a job in northern Virginia and we left my childhood home on the South Side of Chicago to set... Read more »

I took a nice, hot shower today. A. J. Freund's last shower was one of torture.

Kids love to take baths. It’s a time to play with bubbles, boats and swim like a mermaid. 5-year-old A. J. Freund was murdered at the hands of his parents on April 15th. Before his death, A.J. was forced “to remain in a cold shower for an extended period of time.” Then he was beaten to death,... Read more »
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A letter to the firefighters that saved Notre Dame Cathedral

Dear Paris Firefighters, We all breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that the main structure of the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral had been preserved. We all gasped in horror, safely from a distance, as all four hundred of you went into that raging inferno and fought for over twelve hours. It reminded me of the World... Read more »

What have I accomplished so far this year? Not much, just killing a lot of stink bugs.

Yes, it’s true. The brown marmorated stink bug is no snow bird. You will find them wintering in my home. All 567,083 million of them. We’ve survived the polar vortex, a mundane Super Bowl, ice storms and kept entertained watching two seasons of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Each episode must be viewed multiple times because I am too distracted gaping over the props, wardrobe and... Read more »

It's Cold Outside, So Baby, Pour Me That Drink

Have we really come to this? Radio stations are banning the song, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because some think the lyrics promote date rape drugs. It’s enough to make me sing, “Maybe just a cigarette more.” And sure, I’ll have that drink. I am all in over the #MeToo movement. Women around the world have been... Read more »
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How an apple tree and an Amish cookbook began a tradition that has woven generations together

My neighbors, Carol and David Bibelhausen, began the tradition of Apple Pie Day twenty-seven years ago. They had an abundance of apples from the tree in their yard in Fort Wayne, Indiana, so baking a pie was definitely on the agenda. Daughter Megan, then four and son Joe, then two, each made a crumb crusted, apple pie from the... Read more »

Let them eat Rainbow Cake from the Goddess and the Baker

Merci, Marie Antoinette. Don’t mind if I do. Happy to oblige. The more sprinkles the better. Dolly came out on the Metra train recently to visit her doting parents. She pulled a surprise out of her bag and declared, “Mom, we’re eating cake tonight!” Yum. One slice could feed a family of six. The Goddess and... Read more »

I'd love to go to a Cubs game with The Pink Hat Guy

Any observant Cubs fan couldn’t miss the gentleman in the pink baseball cap and bright green shirt sitting behind home plate at Wrigley Field. If you did, sober up. In my vivid imagination, he wore the green shirt because he’s Irish and Cubs attire comes in a shade of Emerald Isle Green for those O’Brien and Mahoney fans. And the pink... Read more »
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A subtle, sentimental sign of love at the Metra train station

I was sitting in the window of my favorite coffee shop drinking a latte while reading the “Ask Amy” column in the Chicago Tribune. Behind me, I could hear a couple walk in, and quietly order two coffees to go. I love quiet people early in the morning. They whispered to one another as comfortable couples... Read more »