Put Down Your Phone

Book of personal essays transports readers to a happier time Rick Bailey is having a conversation with his wife. And striving to appreciate Beaujolais. And sightseeing with Italian friends. And washing gravestones alongside a widow. And we readers are grateful that he is. Because in each of Bailey’s 42 tightly-written, sure-to-make-you-smile personal essays, he extractsContinue reading “Put Down Your Phone”

Reading Books Is Our Super Power

I was a confused and awkward middle schooler (weren’t we all?), who struggled to make friends and to understand the world outside my tiny experience of it. I was always saying the wrong words, doing the wrong things, ending up in places I didn’t want to be. Where I felt the most at home wasContinue reading “Reading Books Is Our Super Power”

More Positive Than My Pup

It is a bright, warm day in my smallish backyard. The sun is shining, new grass has sprouted, squirrels and birds flit over and between bare tree branches. This is a wonderful place to while away a few hours — especially if you are a five-month-old puppy. There are sticks to chew on, a big, fullContinue reading “More Positive Than My Pup”

The Magic of ‘The Nutcracker’

If the show can go on, a flicker of hope will too When I was a little girl, there were few outings more magical than a trip to see the Nutcracker ballet. My sisters and I dressed in our Sunday best and climbed the narrow staircases of the posh theater. We held our breath whenContinue reading “The Magic of ‘The Nutcracker’”

Being Your Best

On Thursday nights, my middle child has ballet classes and my youngest heads to soccer. Her dad drives her, staying to watch, and the dog goes along for a walk. Which leaves me completely, deliciously, unbelievably alone for a full hour-and-a-half. It seems crazy that I am so thirsty for this sip of quiet. But IContinue reading “Being Your Best”

Grow Where You’re Planted

I am interviewing small business owners for a magazine story I’m working on. As I listen, I marvel at how each of them is saying the same words to me when I ask how they decided to keep their doors open in March when state regulations and customer fears and a completely unknowable virus swept throughContinue reading “Grow Where You’re Planted”

Our Kids Are Growing Up Faster in This, Our New World

It was a regular Thursday night. My youngest and I were boxing up beloved toys that she hadn’t touched in months. We were creating spaces for new projects sorely needed now that so much of our lives centered around home. Out of nowhere, my stomach began hurting. I felt hot and tingly. The thermometer confirmedContinue reading “Our Kids Are Growing Up Faster in This, Our New World”

Opening Up to New Possibilities

It is just before sunset and ribbons of bright orange streak through low puffy clouds. I am walking on a foot bridge across the breathtaking James River in downtown Richmond, Va. Water courses over barely visible boulders. Mama duck paddles her babies to a stand of weeds to search for bugs. An osprey dips and glides overhead. AContinue reading “Opening Up to New Possibilities”

Learning to Listen

For Lent one year, I thought hard about what would be a true sacrifice I could make during the season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. I was a young mother at the time, staying home with my children. There were so few things that were even mine to give up. I was not eating in fancy restaurants orContinue reading “Learning to Listen”