Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

'When is the disaster over?'

The onslaught of disasters over the past two weeks has been overwhelming even for a casual observer.

Imagine what it must be like for those living it — the victims who’ve lost houses, belongings, loved ones. The children who lived through the terror of howling winds or quaking buildings, who’ve seen their rooms flooded, their schools destroyed, a pet or a beloved toy lost.

Dog eat ... anything

Note: This column was originally published in the Aug. 29 News-Gazette.

I’ve got a title for a new book: “Murphy finds a bone.”

Or more accurately, “Murphy finds a (fill in the blank).”

It’s the rare dog walk where we arrive back home without some new treasure.

Most of my neighbors have probably heard me groan and mutter, “What did you find now?”

You want me to drive up where?

We recently returned from a two-week trip out west, and I asked my usual post-vacation question:

Why did our ancestors stop in Illinois again?

It’s not that I don’t love the Midwest.

A vote of thanks

I had fallen asleep, sitting up, with the remote in my hands when my husband came running upstairs with the news.

It was about 1:30 a.m. Normally, he’d be reporting a dramatic walkoff home run win — or clumsy defeat — by his beloved Braves, which he DVRs daily. (Yes, it’s a verb.)

Not this time. This was about a vote in Congress.

This will be sweet

Lately, on my early morning dog walks through the neighborhood, I’ve become a bit of a snoop.

You know, like when you check out the neighbors’ remodeling job as you stroll by, only to realize they’re sitting on the porch watching you watch them. Oops.

Is there anything awesome about possums?

I have this weird relationship with possums — in that I hate them but they keep showing up in my neighborhood.

The latest encounter came as we were walking our dog late one night, in the rain. As I kept my eyes down to avoid stepping in giant mud puddles, I heard my son say, “What is THAT?”

Loosening the purse strings - for a good cause

Throw together 450 women, 206 purses and 1,800 glasses of wine, and something’s bound to happen.

In this case, $65,000 to support homeless families and women struggling to afford a college education.

Chalk it up to the “Power of the Purse,” a fundraiser/silent auction launched in 2015 by the United Way of Champaign County.

Taking root: Hope

In a courtyard outside the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, a small chestnut tree blooms.

It has roots, literally, in a towering horse chestnut that stood outside the cramped attic in Amsterdam where Anne Frank wrote one of history’s most famous diaries.

Walking (and talking) the walk at the Illinois Marathon

Several years back, when my knees were younger, I ran the 5K in the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

It was a family affair, a challenge we undertook with a friend and her two kids. My son and I trained and ran together (yes, some of us have to build up to running 3 miles) and my younger daughter ran the 1K.

I put myself to the test

Choose the best way to finish this sentence:

Taking the SAT decades after your last algebra class is

a) innovative.
b) daring.
c) thoughtful.
d) really, really stupid.

I didn’t actually take the full SAT, for real; if I had, I would have prepared better.