• 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,…

  • Columns & essays,  Empty nest,  Where I'm published

    Zen and the art of gardening

    “All my hurts my garden spade can heal.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Last spring, members of our local Master Gardener Society invited me to speak at one of their meetings. I was honored, at first, but as soon as the date of the talk rolled around, I started getting nervous. And with good reason. Master Gardeners aren’t just fooling around with bulbs and blossoms. These folks earn a minimum of 40 hours of instruction in horticulture science. Meeting for at least 11 weeks, they take classes in caring for indoor and outdoor plants, establishing lawns, growing vegetables and fruit trees, designing gardens, and more. I bow to their expertise. Barely…

  • Columns & essays,  Events & news

    Parenting advice

    A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.” ~Sloan Wilson Note: This essay was published earlier this year (“A New Season of Parenting”) in Metro Parent magazine. It was written especially for friends whose children will be starting college this fall… It’s going to be a roller coaster year for a friend whose youngest child will graduate from high school in May, then head out of state to college in August. My friend is already working through some conflicting emotions. She gets a little teary at the thought of…