Category: Stories that want to be told

The Sisters' Writing Club and why you should want in

The Sisters’ Writing Club, the latest chapter in my writing life, is the brainchild of my sister-in-law Nan. She proposed it and all of us signed on immediately. The club invites all five of us to write a brief piece on the same topic every month. We share our pieces via email, then respond with... Read more »

A grownup in grad school: The radical difference between me and my peers

In grad school, while studying and practicing to become a counselor, I became a grownup. I’d had other moments coming up that demonstrated to me that I wasn’t there yet – like when the checkout lady at the Hi-Low grocery store handed me the bag and said, “Well, little lady, I’d say you were old... Read more »

The 1967 Chicago Blizzard: The day I walked down the middle of 111th Street all alone

January 25, 1967, Blizzard Day: I was home from college waiting for second semester to start in a few days, kicking back, spending time with my mom and friends back home when it started snowing, and didn’t stop until 111th St was impassable except by the occasional brave soul who early on figured they could get... Read more »

Money and Me: How my first purchase shaped our relationship

I entered my earning years as a ten year-old babysitter, racking up the hours at 25 cents per. Lucky for me, there were some newly built three story apartment buildings erected behind my older red brick one, just brimming with little kids. Did I know enough to take care of infants? Toddlers? Dogs? No, but... Read more »

Cindy on Jeopardy!: A heartbreaking last-ditch victory

Last Thursday, I was strapped to my To Do list all day. By 3:30 I’d had it and needed some company, so I turned on Jeopardy! which makes me feel smart and then dumb in a rapidly-cycling question-by-question rotation. I love checking out the contestants and can empathize with their cocktail of excitement and fear,... Read more »

The best meal of my life: Fried chicken with memories

The best meal of my life was on a beautiful fall day, crisp and bright blue, the day of the memorial service following my mom’s death from Alzheimer’s Disease. She had died a few weeks earlier, under hospice care, with two of us present. The relief we felt was real, as the years’ long decline that took... Read more »

Life without Leonard Cohen: At least you left your music behind

Leonard Cohen died on Monday but his death wasn’t announced until today. An hour later, his website had 43,000 comments of appreciation and farewell. By another hour, 106,000; by now many more. This is what I’d tell him if I could: I lost track of you for a while, Leonard, somewhere between Suzanne and In... Read more »

How to Understand Cubs' Love: The World Series Wall at Wrigley

Cubs’ Love goes beyond baseball. It’s not about goats and lovable losers and long droughts. It’s about connection. You can see it for yourself on the brick walls at Wrigley Field where people have been recording in chalk exactly what it means. It hints at why people all over the world are reveling in the Cubs... Read more »

My Favorite Post of All Time: Up the mountain to the past

Usually, as soon as I’ve finished writing one of these posts, it shifts automatically into my mental archive, so that when someone says, “Hey, I liked that last post,” I have to inquire what it was about. Once I send one out into the world, my brain gets busy searching for the next one. Yet... Read more »

The Cubs' new story: Goodbye goat, hello hope

There’s a new story in town in Chicago. No more torment of poor Steve Bartman. No more warnings about goats. No more victimhood narratives to explain our lovable losers’ lack of achievement. As all of us younger than 108 have grown up with these stories, we are still tender. All season, despite the distinct whiff of... Read more »