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 →

Mystery Brides, Mystery Corpses

The day after my parents’ 67th wedding anniversary on May 3, 2019, my mother was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer. Heartbroken, my 95-year-old father died on June 28, and my mother followed 10 weeks later. Determined to honor their 68th anniversary with a blog post, I began searching through family albums to find the perfect... Continue Reading →

Earth Day: A Mile Down to Water

When I was a newlywed living in New Baltimore, Michigan my father-in-law Robert Lienert used to drop in several times a week and visit while I made dinner. He would entertain me with stories about growing up on a small farm in Harvard, Nebraska during the days of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.... Continue Reading →

Coronavirus Connections

Tidying guru Marie Kondo is urging the world to get organized while everyone is holed up during the COVID-19 pandemic. It turns out cleaning the house is forging connections between long-lost friends – and even strangers. My first inkling of this came in late March, when Iklas Bahoura-Bashi, a student I hadn’t heard from in... Continue Reading →

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