• Grief and loss,  Home & Family,  Oakland Press columns,  Where I'm published

    Emotional baggage or timeless treasure?

    “If a gift has come to you wrapped in obligations and tied tightly with a ribbon of guilt, then it’s not really a gift at all.” ~Peter Walsh, professional organizer Organizing an estate sale is probably one of the toughest things we have to do after our parents die. If your folks collected as many family heirlooms as mine did, you’ll face the emotionally loaded task of deciding which items to keep and which ones to sell or give away. And what happens when your grown kids don’t want to inherit the family treasures? For starters, it helps to learn and understand the generational differences in what we value. My…

  • Events & news,  Magazines

    Springtime surprises

    It doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but sometimes my work gets published in a magazine without much effort on my part. Late last year, for instance, I received an unexpected letter and a contract from an editor at Ideals magazine, requesting my permission to reprint an Easter essay from my book, Writing Home. This week, I received my advance copies of Ideals Springtime 2018. My essay in this issue is about a surprise gift (a box of ducklings) that I received one Easter when I was a kid. Ideals is a soft-cover anthology of stories and poems by a variety of nationally published authors. Owned by Guideposts and…

  • Christian Science Monitor,  Essays,  Family columnists,  Parenting advice

    The family columnist

    We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.”  ~Stacia Tauscher Using our kids as fodder for Facebook posts, blog posts, or newspaper columns is hardly new.  But it was a thought-provoking exercise for me to revisit my own column-writing days in a “Home Forum” essay for The Christian Science Monitor. While I approached the piece with a light hand, some darker issues lurked between the lines. How much ink is appropriate to give our kids?  Are we bragging or exploiting? How can we avoid overstepping personal boundaries or violating our children’s privacy?  Please click here to read the essay. –CL

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