Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

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.

'Love can overcome fear'

Amid a contentious national debate over immigration and travel bans, a Champaign-Urbana group has quietly taken up the religious mission to “welcome the stranger.”

C-U Friends and Allies of Immigrants and Refugees, a coalition of 27 religious congregations of all faiths and 13 other groups, has started taking in refugee families from Africa and the Middle East.

One person’s trash ...

Most people don’t get excited about an old rusty metal box.

But when an electrician replaced our circuit box a few years back, I was thrilled to get the old one.

I finally had a big hunk of metal to take to the recycling center along with the old binder rings, broken fixtures and other bits I’d accumulated.

Mixed emotions

This column originally appeared in The News-Gazette on Feb. 29, 2017.

You know that moment when you see a memory in the making, and you grab your phone or camera to capture it?

Things don’t always go well.

What to expect when you're expecting ... a new puppy

First things first: I am not turning this into a regular pet column.

However, much has transpired since I wrote last month about the new four-legged addition to our family.

Holes have been dug. Valentines have been shredded. Shoes have been chewed.

So much chewing.