• Photo stories,  relationships,  social skills

    Silly presents

    “A friendship can weather most things, and it can thrive in thin soil. But it needs a little mulch of notes and phone calls and small, silly presents every so often, just to save it from drying out completely.” ~Pamela Brown A few years ago, after a painful surgery on my eyelid for skin cancer, a dear friend brought me a lovely “care package” that touched my heart more than words could express. I’ll never forget the morning she showed up at my door with that gift. That same friend was injured in an accident earlier this week, and as soon as I learned about it, I started shopping for a care package.…

  • Photo stories,  relationships

    Being neighborly

    “All will concede that in order to have good neighbors, we must also be good neighbors. That applies in every field of human endeavor.” ~Harry S. Truman Whenever I need company, I don’t have to look beyond my own neighborhood. Here, it’s easy to find enough friends to host a book club or a potluck, or meet for a last-minute lunch date. And there’s always someone willing to water your garden while you’re away. Over the years, we’ve gathered for graduations, weddings, and funerals. We’ve built a community. “How do you know so many of your neighbors?” someone asked me recently. The short answer: It took a little time and lots…

  • Billy Collins,  Poetry,  relationships

    A random still life, an everyday love poem

    Then all the moments of the past began to line up behind that moment.” — Billy Collins Billy Collins sees art in the ordinary acts of daily life. In “This Much I Do Remember,” Collins recalls a tender moment that most couples can relate to: the leisurely hour at the dinner table after a good meal has been shared. The woman he’s addressing in this poem is his wife of many years. I fight tears every time I read this piece. It deftly underscores the familiar comfort of a long marriage, reminding me of my own. As Collins wisely points out, the simple, everyday moments we share are the foundation of…

  • Aging well,  Events & news,  Photo stories,  relationships

    Glittering magical moments

    “Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen. We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.” ~Anna Quindlen, A Short Guide to a Happy Life One of the lovely things about aging is that we can view the highlights of our lives through the lens of retrospect. At first, we might focus on the major milestones — weddings, graduations, births, exotic vacations, trophies,…

  • Columns & essays,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Motherhood,  Parenting advice,  relationships,  social skills

    Survival guide for grads

    At commencement you wear your square-shaped mortarboards. My hope is that from time to time you will let your minds be bold, and wear sombreros.” ~Paul Freund Like most moms, I spent years lecturing my kid on the importance of working hard, eating healthy meals, writing thank-you notes, and ironing his dress shirts. But I neglected to impart other words of wisdom along the way. That’s why I wrote the following list of graduation “survival tips” and shared them in my local newspaper column before my son left home for college in 2004. Big congrats to all the new graduates this season! “A Survival Guide for Grads” *Relationships, like cars,…