“Are you leaving?” she asks from the sidewalk as I stood beside the door of my car. “Sorry, just arriving,” I say. I presumed the middle- aged woman in blue jeans and a black t-shirt was hoping for a parking spot in my gentrifying neighborhood.  She turns to keep walking. “If you was leaving I…

“You’ll be a shining star!” “Be sure to join a study group.” “Whatever you do, don’t fall behind on your reading.”  She held her breath, smiled from ear to ear, and declared she wasn’t going to cry as the well wishes and wisdom tumbled down the chat in her final all team Zoom. Lindsay V….

Janie (that’s what I’ll call her) has a wholehearted laugh that fills her entire being. With a round face and ever-present smile, Janie sees humor in any situation. And with years of being a therapist and an elementary school counselor, she’s seen some situations.  Janie’s effervescence is so bright that the first time her schoolteacher spouse saw her in the building he declared, “I’m going to…

“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”  She was a court reporter. I was a lawyer.  We bonded over our German heritage, working in the juvenile court system, and having alcoholic fathers.  Each year I endure three months of teasing from Gretchen that she’s “younger” than me. Today the annual ribbing ends as I celebrate the birth of my friend of nearly 40 years.  We…

I stopped attending art openings. I took up lifting a kettlebell, staying inside instead of going out to the gym. I was unsure how long before it would be over and whether life would ever be the same again.  It wasn’t a winter with coronavirus.  It was the last winter of many winters of John living with cancer. Ten years ago, the rooms of tea parties with macarons and brunches with bubbly became a home…

“I had no idea there’d be such an outpouring…I’m not used to being on the receiving end.” Tears started to stream down the face of the child turned man whose blue eyes matched his hospital gown. My first-born Benjamin gave his first Facebook thanks two weeks after a driver on I-80 crossed the median at full speed, hitting Ben’s car head-on, crushing his limbs and…

As a 10-year-old, I took my promises seriously, at least when it came to trying to be a good girl in a Catholic culture. For Lent, I’d commit to give up candy or to place any coins –my only income at the time– into the slot of the little yellow cardboard box shaped like a…

It’s easy to feel grateful, given my charmed life. Excellent COVID-free health, a successful law firm, a loving life partner. End of day entries in the gratitude journal flow:             Morning dancing             Incredible coworkers             Bills paid Even at the end of a challenging day, there’s plenty. What doesn’t make the list:             Wind…

The bitter cold of the pre-dawn dark stung my cheeks. The bag on my shoulder heavy with the Sunday edition Omaha World-Herald, I trudged along the snow packed sidewalks making my deliveries. Nose dripping, I stifled my silent weeping as I approached the corner where I’d meet my brother delivering his section of the route. …

“Your hair’s getting long,” he said, noticing my coronavirus coiffure. Gerry has such an eye for beauty and style that the home he and Bob share was once featured on the glossy pages of the Inspired Living as one of the loveliest in the city. I held my breath, sensing he was about to be honest with me. “You look younger,” he said. …

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