What I’d like to say to someone who refuses a vaccine

Maybe you also know someone who doesn’t want to get a COVID vaccine. There’s a good chance that someone isn’t in the Baby Boomer generation. Eighty-five percent of us are or intend to be vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One in four adults under 30 are wait-and-see or definitely not. The person I... Read more »

The caring example of my cousin Bob

My cousin Bob may have been as attentive to his frail Aunt Anita, my mother, if he weren’t in a wheelchair. But he might not have had the time because, at 58, he would still have been working.  A decade ago Bob woke from back surgery in a Joliet hospital unable to move his legs.... Read more »

Being alone is a choice for many older women

Interviewed for the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, 83-year-old Jane Fonda said she was through with romantic relationships.  “I don’t want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again,” she said. “I don’t have that desire.” Three-quarters of my women friends of my generation are single, with the single numbers equally split between never married... Read more »
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Reentry at different rates

As more of us are vaccinated, we’re noting reports that people are nervous about reentry into something resembling our former lives. Have we forgotten how to socialize? Are we so used to cocooning that we won’t want to go out? Will we back away from people who get close?  Today, my fully vaccinated day one,... Read more »

The overused exclamation point!!!

Everyone who works in the word business has pet peeves about written content. My former colleagues in Northwestern University’s publications office will remember that my big one was the exclamation point.  I had nothing against the exclamation point when used properly, to exclaim. It was overuse that I objected to, particularly to end sentences of... Read more »

Fiction's newest genre: up lit

Five weeks ago I blogged about my favorite television series, Call the Midwife, and lamented that literary novels don’t share its mix of realism and uplift. “Qualities that I think are hard to find in a literary novel — such as hope, warmth, gladness, and change for the better — are present in spades in... Read more »
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Genealogy is an elective

In a recent Zoom chat with a group of my former coworkers, a woman of Filipino descent lamented the difficulty of finding records of her ancestors. I thought back to another chat with coworkers, this one in person, when I gushed about having traced a branch back 13 generations to 1629 New England. Later I... Read more »

Why a city dweller might prefer to vacation in nature

When the Worldwide Greeter Communication Project recently asked Greeters our travel preferences, seven in ten preferred culture and cities to nature. That’s not surprising, since Greeter programs are in cities, and we Greeters volunteer to show off our cities to visitors.  I was in the 30 percent minority. Don’t get me wrong: If I didn’t... Read more »

Surprise: vaccines are on my mind

With “Have you had your first shot?” leading off most conversations these days, thank goodness it’s becoming easier to find an appointment for a COVID vaccination. “I think I’m the only Chicagoan over 65 who hasn’t found an appointment,” a friend grumbled a couple of days before he snared one. He wasn’t really alone; only... Read more »
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Thoughts as senior residences let up on lockdowns

Our 93-year-old mother’s virtual imprisonment in an assisted living apartment for almost a year has to rank among my family’s top stresses of the pandemic.   Would Mom have been better off living with one of us? Didn’t she deserve the same care she gave her own mother at home for 17 years? But when... Read more »