An old dog learns new tricks

“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one is a life diminished,” wrote Dean Koontz. I was a contented “cat person” for more than three decades, owning at least two adorable felines at a time. So I never realized something was missing from my life — though I’d always entertained fantasies of […]

Simple living is complicated

Browsing through a stack of women’s magazines in a waiting room recently, I counted no less than half a dozen features outlining how to “banish clutter” or “simplify and organize” everything that’s muddled in my chaotic household. One article suggested that dumping the contents of my junk drawers would enhance my self-esteem. Another promised I’d […]

Our year to break free

Are you stuck in a rut? Set in your ways? Afraid to take risks or try something new? The start of a new year is the perfect time to break free of our self-sabotaging beliefs and habits. My January column in Michigan Prime highlights several brave people who’ve taken the leap in midlife, plus I’ve provided […]

A light to warm our winter

This essay was originally published in The Daily Tribune on December 24, 1998, and is included in my book, Writing Home.   Over the centuries, Christmas has been reinvented and repackaged, promoted and pummeled, like the cookie dough we cut into festive shapes and decorate every year in December. Christmas is a mass of contradictions. The […]

October memories

Sorting through my mom’s papers after she died last month, I found a copy of this essay, which I wrote after my father’s passing in 1992. First published in the October 1998 edition of Mary Engelbreit’s Home Companion, it’s also included in my book, Writing Home. Lately I’ve been thinking of these lines from Anne Mary Lawler’s poem […]

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