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 →

Detroit Journal: A Babushka Easter

I always ended up with garlic breath after digging into my Easter basket as a kid. That’s because unlike American-style baskets, which were filled with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, mine had a distinctly Polish flavor. My Polish grandmother, whose day job was running a little bar for Detroit factory workers on Michigan Avenue, always... Continue Reading →

On the Death of a Co-Worker

It’s been a monastic life for me as a writer for the past 25 years, since I’ve largely abandoned newsrooms and classrooms in favor of a home office. For 15 of those years, my faithful co-worker has been my miniature schnauzer Pinki, who would arise with me at 5 a.m. and shepherd me into my... Continue Reading →

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