Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet?

Your (turquoise) table is ready

Kristin Schell was frustrated by the hectic pace of her family’s life.

It was all good, but busy and stressful.

“We were in the minivan all the time,” she said, and her four kids — ages 14, 12, 11 and 6 — were mmersed in their phones or other screens.

When is enough enough?

“I love you mom. If I don’t make it, I love you mom.”

Haunting words texted by one teen last week as parents waited outside a Florida high school, wondering if their children would make it out alive. Luckily, that girl did; 17 other people didn’t.

Dear doggy diary ... what were my humans thinking?

Dear doggy diary,

Boy, do I have a crazy holiday story to tell you. Best if I break it down day by day:

That festive FAFSA season

As we gather for turkey this week, let us all give thanks that we’ve made it past the Nov. 1 college early application deadline.

Blossoms, books and whimsey

This column was published in the Oct. 10 News-Gazette.

Now that my kids are taller than me, I get these pangs of nostalgia whenever I see our favorite childhood haunts — their grade school playground, the sprinklers at Hessel Park, the children’s desk at the library, even the dollar bins at Target where they’d pick out holiday decorations.

A letter from Houston

The Facebook page of a good friend in Houston has been full of entries like this over the past few weeks:

“A mom collapsed into my arms sobbing today after we spent three hours waiting together to get her into an apartment provided by Harris County. She will get a furnished one bedroom starting tomorrow (yay!) but she lost everything in Harvey. She is considering this a fresh start.”

'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.