Grandma’s Russian Invasion

When my grandmother was 12 years old, Russian soldiers quartered on her family’s farm in Poland during the 1914 Battle of Galicia, a major conflict between Russia and Austria-Hungary during the early stages of World War I. When the family heard soldiers tramping on the road, they rushed to bury food to keep it out... Continue Reading →

End of the Witness Protection Program

When my dog Rosie died peacefully on March 26, it marked the end of 14 years in the witness protection program. Just like the human programs run by the U.S. Marshals Service and other government entities to create new identities and protect innocent victims from harm, Rosie’s canine version was designed to keep her safe... Continue Reading →

The Elephant in the (Play)Room

I’m staving off the pandemic blues by throwing myself into a home-improvement project that includes a bookcase shaped like an elephant and several gallons of Benjamin Moore’s First Light pink paint. The idea is to transform a guest bedroom in my house into a magical kid’s playroom, one that will delight my three grandchildren once the... Continue Reading →

My Rosebud: A Christmas Memory

Glancing down at the Christmas decorations around my front door, the Amazon delivery driver momentarily froze.  “Rosebud,” he said, focusing on the old sled I haul out every year and carefully position amid the greenery and ornaments.  I appreciated the faded pop-culture reference in the middle of his rush to deliver packages, and it made me... Continue Reading →

Seeking Level Ground

On a shelf in my kitchen is a plain white pitcher that used to belong to my husband’s grandmother Mary, a farm wife in Harvard, Nebraska during the Great Depression. In it I keep a handful of dirt that my sister brought me from my grandmother’s farming village in Huta Przedborska, Poland after visiting there... Continue Reading →

A Garden for Eleanor

From the time she could hold a watering can, my four-year-old granddaughter Eleanor has been a dedicated gardener.  When I bought her a yellow wheelbarrow last summer, her mother told me Eleanor sometimes would wake up in the early morning and head outside in her pajamas to rake leaves. Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the... Continue Reading →

Required Reading in a Pandemic

Reading Bette Carrothers’ online “Our Town” column from New Baltimore, Michigan every Sunday night has become one of my favorite pandemic pastimes. The 85-year-old Carrothers writes about such seemingly mundane topics as yard sales, how Memorial Day ceremonies were observed (“with reverence”), and small-town concerns, such as a family searching for a missing memorial bench... Continue Reading →

The Art of Medicine After COVID-19

Early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, my ophthalmologist sent an email that he was offering “virtual eye exams” to his patients. But when I developed a serious eye problem over the Memorial Day weekend, I was advised that I couldn’t be treated on Zoom; despite a continuing “stay-at-home” order in Michigan, I had to come... Continue Reading →

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