Catch up with me in the Sunday paper
My columns and features appear often in The Oakland Press and several other daily newspapers in the MediaNews Group. My columns typically run on Sundays in the Homefront section — in the print editions and online — and periodically in the “Vitality” magazine supplement. You’ll find an archive of my previous columns and feature stories online here.
Labor Day weekend
“Summer nearly does me in every year. It’s too hot and the light is unforgiving and the days go on way too long.” ~Anne Lamott, humorist and author Sure, we complain about summer’s heat and humidity, but who really wants to see it end? We tend to think of Labor Day weekend as summer’s farewell — but the season isn’t officially over until the autumnal equinox on September 22. So let’s not rush things. For the next three weeks, I plan to savor every day of summer that’s left. I’ll spend more time outside, for starters, knowing it won’t be long before my garden is buried under fallen leaves. A…
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…
Anatomy of a skin cancer scar
“Writers remember everything…especially the hurts. Strip a writer to the buff, point to the scars, and he’ll tell you the story of each small one.” ~Stephen King, Misery Unprotected sunbathing was a youthful indiscretion for many teenage baby boomers. Going for the burn, we’d spend endless summer days on the beach, often slathered in baby oil. It rarely occurred to us that we’d pay a high price later on. We didn’t know that sun damage was cumulative. At midlife, my skin sent a series of wake-up calls in the form of age spots, wrinkles, and several bouts of skin cancer…. To read the rest of my story in The Oakland…
The gift of receiving
Excerpted from my book of published columns, Writing Home, this essay was first published in Chicken Soup for the Soul (Healthy Living Series) and reprinted in Catholic Digest, April 2007. It was also featured on Sirius Radio. THE GIFT OF RECEIVING A few years ago, when I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in both hips, I read everything I could find about coping with chronic pain and illness. I was amazed at how often I’d stumble on a paragraph that advised patients to “look for the gift in your pain.” Pain is a gift? Thanks, but no thanks, I’d mutter to myself. I had just turned 44 and hadn’t planned on slowing…