Gratitude is the heart’s memory.”  ~Jean Baptiste Massieu

My son Nate drove from Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with us, so I’m closing the door to my home office this week. Meanwhile, I’m sharing links to two essays with a Thanksgiving homecoming spin. The first is from the archives of my Michigan Women’s Forum column, and the other runs currently on Mothering by Jennifer Margulis. If you’re the parent of a college student who’s back home for the holiday, you’ll probably relate.

Another homecoming: My weekly Our Town column debuted on Royal Oak Patch yesterday. You’ll be able to read it all week (check under “Columns” or type “Cindy La Ferle” in the Search option). It’s fun sharing my little corner of the world, and I’m getting a kick out of the comments readers leave on the Patch site. I’ve even heard from folks who’ve left the state but still want to stay connected with their hometown. Happy Thanksgiving to all! –CL

–Photo by Cindy La Ferle–

Spring things

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

It’s officially spring today, but our weather reporters in southeast Michigan tell us we’re in for snow showers this weekend. Regardless, we’ve enjoyed sunshine and unseasonably warm temps all week. Our tulips are already pushing their leaves through the soil, and the neighborhood kids got a chance to dust off their roller blades.

And just in time, the April issue of Body and Soul arrived on the stands with several fresh articles on adopting a healthier diet, managing stress, and celebrating Earth Day. But what really sold me was an especially good piece by Amy Maclin on the deeper meaning of housecleaning. I enjoyed the issue so much, in fact, that I started a subscription.

Being an optimist, I’m also starting to plot my herb garden. But since I can’t start digging outside yet, I’m methodically purging the useless stuff I’ve accumulated in previous seasons — one drawer, one room, at a time. My new “Somewhere in the Middle” column in Michigan Women’s Forum offers a few tips for spring-cleaning your own closets and dumping shabby attitudes. Click here to read it. Here’s to fresh starts and a happy spring! — CL

–“Spring” collage detail by Cindy La Ferle–