Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Why can't it be the ginkgo?

My relationship with trees is complicated. Sort of the love-hate variety.

Love the canopy of shade in the summer. Hate that the grass won’t grow.

Don't be a 'digital hoarder'

Saturday was an organized day. Or at least it started out that way.

We’d recently cleared away the debris from the horizontal surfaces around the house in anticipation of out-of-town guests. The time was ripe to take the next step: get rid of the stuff that was shoved into the garage as a result.

On the safe side

Watch a video of Principal/crossing guard Angie Schoonover in action.

Champaign doesn’t really have a rush hour. It’s more of a rush quarter-hour.

But on weekday mornings it happens to coincide with the time lots of kids are headed to school.

On the generational front line

No matter how old we are, no matter how much we expected it, we’re never quite prepared to lose our parents.

My friends and I are at the age where it’s a common occurrence. Suddenly we’re the ones on the generational front line, without the emotional backup we’ve had since we were kids.

Sometimes you have to take a stand - even at McDonald's

Note: This column appeared in the Sept. 1 News-Gazette.

Dear McDonald’s worker,

I feel I owe you an explanation.

I could tell by the look on your face that you were a bit taken aback when I came in for my missing Filet-o-Fish the other day.

You see, your nice friends in the drive-through had given me one of my sandwiches, but not the other one.

Soccer mom, stage mom — it’s a learning experience

We parents wear many hats.

We chauffeur. We teach. We cook. We launder.

We are also activity directors. Each season we plot out our kids’ extracurriculars and calculate how the practice schedules may or may not fit into our own lives.

And with that role comes another responsibility: parent volunteer. I have to say my record in this area is somewhat checkered.

Auto correcting

When my son turned 8 years old, one reassuring thought popped in my head: he’s still only halfway to driving.

That fear has lurked in the recesses of my brain since the day he as born, when I couldn’t imagine this tiny baby someday commandeering a metal killing machine.

We have arrived at that day. He is now 15, and about to get his permit.

Midweek beach getaway good for the soul

Summer has just started (by the school calendar if not the actual calendar) and we’ve already checked one item off my daughter’s vacation bucket list: a beach road trip.

It wasn’t a drive-two-days-to-get-to-the-ocean beach vacation, although I am always open to that possibility. It wasn’t even a weekend getaway.

This was more of a mini, midweek beach trip.

Two strikes and it's gone

The house of Weiss Lancaster’s youth was a magical place to grow up, an old Victorian mansion with back stairs and a tower and a huge porch.

Can't say no to Fido - or Kitty?

The pet pressure is building in our household.

I’ve managed to hold off acquiring a furry friend for eight years, since our last kitty went to meet her feline maker.

But our kids are fairly relentless, and I’ve run out of excuses.

For awhile, it was hairball fatigue. I wasn’t ready to deal with the cleanup involved with a pet and two young kids.