Magical Memoir Moments

MJ Sharp: A “Sparkplug” Who Lived and Died for Peace

Perhaps you read about him or heard about him on the news? The young United Nations peace worker who was kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 12, 2017, and whose body, along with a colleague’s, was found in a shallow grave on March 26? His name was Michael Jesse Sharp. He…

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The Shenandoah Valley last Spring

Entering Lent and Leaving Social Media Behind: Welcoming a More Passive Life

What do you get when you cross Lent with Sabbath? I’m about to find out. The last four years of moving to Virginia, living in Brooklyn as a “granny nanny,” writing a book, and traveling, have been wonderful. You might call this period of time The Active Life. This style of living has been a…

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Mother and son taking in the view above Port au Prince

Be a Namer! How Madeleine L'Engle Named My Vocation

Every writer hopes to find words that resonate in other lives. And every reader chooses favorite writers, partly based on their proven power to penetrate the veil of death through language. Madeleine L’Engle plays such a role in my life. Even though she died in 2007, she lives in my memory through her visits to…

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Spahr Farm after the snow fell and wind died down, 1958

The Snowstorm that Wasn't: Legendary Busts and Blizzards

Yesterday the internets were alive with jokes about the Great Storm Bust of 2015. For those who lived in NYC, especially, a huge gap emerged between the hyped predictions (“historic storm coming — two to three feet!) and the actual snowfall of between 1.5 and 10 inches in the greater NYC area. The poor politicians…

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Pittsburgh and Propelle: Where Fun and Family Meet

I came to Pittsburgh this week for two reasons: to spend some good face-to-face time with my daughter Kate and to get some help with my 2015 planning. Yesterday was a “work” day for my four-day visit. We launched the work day at Whole Foods and then returned to the “sunny urban” AirBnB unit on…

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A Week in Sarasota: The Bittersweet Disruption of Cars

As you read these words, I am heading back north from Sarasota, Florida. I leave behind the palm trees, Gulf breezes, white sands, delicious fresh sea food, key lime pie, beach sunrises and sunsets, — and some wonderful surprises! Two of the surprises had to do with cars.   Just last week I described my…

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Plan More, Plan Less: Continuing the Search for Simplicity and Legacy By Reviewing 2014 and Sharing Goals for 2015

Last year at this time, I had a plan for 2014. I even wrote about it.  I heard back from many readers about my plan to CONNECT (my word for the year) and to continue the search for simplicity and legacy by creating goals centered on my mission: to prepare for the hour of my…

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Eves-dropping: A Good Way to End 2014

I created a new word today: “eves-dropping.” Meaning? To prepare a blog post on the eve of a holiday and then drop it on your readers. Since Christmas and New Years this year fall on Thursdays, and this blog goes live regularly on Wednesdays, you get eves-drops. As a way of celebrating the year-end of…

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Christmas Eve: In the Bleak Midwinter

It’s a very quiet Christmas Eve at our house. Fog covers the mountains. We didn’t decorate a tree. No sound of children’s voices. Quiet. Our family had festive days together in November and will have more this weekend. Tomorrow there will be brunch in the home of friends. But today it’s just us. And time….

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Do You Say, "Have a Nice Day"? If Not, Why Not?

When you part from someone, do you have a favorite farewell blessing to utter? Other languages, French, German, and Spanish, for example, have much more graceful words than the English “Good-Bye” or “So long!” Witness this song written for English speakers about a famous multi-lingual Austrian family: In America, in the decade that followed The…

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