2016 Blogs


A Time to Change

December 2016

I’m not so good with change.

Sure, I can be spontaneous and go with the flow in the day-to-day living of life. Yet when it comes to my appearance, I get, mmm, too comfortable. I’ve had the same haircut for decades and prefer the coziness of a worn-out sweater to a crisp new one. When my favorite lipstick color was discontinued, I bought all the tubes left on display, fearful I’d never find another to love. (Read More)

At the Gym, So Too in Life

November 2016

I’ve been going to the gym regularly – nearly every morning except Shabbos – since the Monday following last January’s blizzard. Once, working out was something I rarely thought about, and then, only with dread. Now, it is something I think about all the time, something my body actually craves. (Read More)

Tishrei Takeaway

October 2016

One year, my son decided to have friends over for his birthday on a Shabbos afternoon. Unfortunately, he broke his arm while playing before the boys arrived and instead spent the day in the ER. (Read More)

Butterflies in Elul

September 2016

The other night, my freshman was busy picking out his clothes for the first day of school. He was that typical mix of nervous and excited most kids are before the undeniably huge leap to high school. Still, he seemed ready for this next stage of his life and the possibilities that await him – even for the long bus ride, the long day, and the long hours of homework when he finally gets home. (Read More)

The Pause Button

August 2016

These are the things I loved most about the summers of my youth.

A clear-cut delineation between time zones. School ended and vacation began, as if we hit a pause button on our obligations. Only on Labor Day weekend, when we drove to the outlets in Pennsylvania for marathon wardrobe shopping, did I begin thinking about school again at all. I was a good student and liked learning anything that wasn’t math or science, but I treasured a demand-free summer like everyone else. (Read More)

The Best of Arrangements

July 2016

In a few months’ time, G-d willing, I will celebrate 50 years on this planet. Well, that’s what the calendar and my birth certificate have reconciled. In my head, I’m still 27. (Read More)

That Word

June 2016

For years after we moved to the suburbs, I would joke that on any given day, I’d likely encounter more wildlife than humans on the street. Except for Shabbos, when the Sabbath-observant community walks everywhere, we live in and out of our cars. That has changed over time. More and more folks are now traveling on foot, but there aren’t the crowds pushing their way down the avenues that I still miss from the city. (Read More)

Perfectly Imperfect

June 2016

A few weeks ago, I attended a local Jewish women’s conference entitled Idealism v. Realism. I’d waffled for days about going, worried I couldn’t carve out the time. But on the morning of the event, I learned that a good friend was moderating a breakout session and I wanted to participate. The nearby library book sale offered added incentive. I threw on a clean skirt, averted my eyes from the weed-like overgrowth of paper and laundry, and left the house. (Read More)

What Happened When He Came Home

May 2016

My son recently came home from yeshiva in Israel for a short visit over the holidays.

As one of his younger brothers observed, “He does nothing wrong because he’s away.” What he meant, of course, was that what I couldn’t see from across the ocean didn’t bother me. There was little left to quibble over anyway, what with him out of the range of maternal pestering about chores and homework and daily responsibilities. It was up to his roommates – if they cared at all, if they weren’t messier – to keep him in order. (Read More)

How Those Countdown to Pesach Emails Gave Me an Unexpected – and Somewhat Embarrassing – Aha! Moment

April 2016

It’s inevitable. Right after Purim, all the wonderful kosher food blogs and Jewish websites I subscribe to begin their barrage on my inbox. One month until Pesach! Are you ready? or something of that ilk appears in the subject line, and from there, the daily tips, countdowns, and reminders follow, tracking the moments until the arrival of the Big P. (Read More)

The Kindness of Strangers

March 2016

During my six-month stay in Budapest more than two decades ago, the elegant Mrs. Szeifert presented herself as my resident Jewish grandmother. From her perch on high heels, she fussed over me, teeming with warmth for this stranded expatriate who was not only far from home, but didn’t speak any of the local language. (Read More)

A Blanket Measure of a Life

February 2016

I recently finished crocheting a large afghan, a project that took me several months to complete. Because life is busy, I had to sneak in stitches whenever I could, most often in the school carpool line. I felt lucky for every one of those therapeutic, creative moments, and as always, excited about crafting something with my hands. (Read More)

You Never Know What You’ll Find in the Snow

February 2016

The blizzard of a week ago already feels like ancient history, yet the walking remains treacherous. Terrified of falling but determined to get some fresh air, I strolled downtown on Friday morning despite the risks. (Read More)

Failure Is an Option. Send in Reinforcements.

January 2016

For a good five minutes soon after dawn yesterday, I found myself staring at a blank sheet in my notebook, the one I still won’t call a 2016 daily gratitude journal. My mind ambled as it tends to when I can’t get words on the page, and it occurred to me that although we’re only two weeks into the new calendar year, I’m already on the brink of failure. (Read More)