Columnists/Opinion

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T’was a few nights after the solstice, a time of quiet in our house. Nobody was up, and I mean nobody. We had the house all decorated for Christmas, including our stockings with the felt figures stitched on the front (candy cane, horn, train, drum, etc.) as was the style back mid-last centur…

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One of the nicest things you can do in this last remaining week leading up to Christmas is to pay attention to someone else’s Christmas tree. Take the time to really study it. Be attentive. Open your heart to it. Embrace it. (Warning: Be a tree-hugger in your mind only. Otherwise you’ll look…

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One of the best things about post-Thanksgiving is turkey sandwiches. To me, that means leftover turkey spread with cranberry jelly between two slices of buttered white bread. To accompany that, I leave the leftover green bean casserole to somebody else. Instead, I like a few potato chips but…

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Years ago, when my youngest sister was working on her PhD in philosophy at Boston College (yes, I am bragging blatantly), she introduced me to a local musician who became one of my favorites: Vance Gilbert. Back in the ’90s Gilbert was starting to sing and play his way out of the Boston pub …

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It is less than a week until Thanksgiving, a day set aside to gather with family and/or friends—to eat. That’s it. The day is devoted solely to eating. Not all day long (unless you have fresh-out-of-the-oven, roasted giblet nibblers in your house), but at that awkward mid-afternoon hour, aft…

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While we walked the dog this evening, the sun dropped below the horizon, taking the day’s last rays of warmth with it. In its place we felt the October breeze brush cold against our faces, reminding us that yes indeed, we are seriously immersed in autumn. We noticed orange pumpkins and bone-…

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Sometimes a columnist needs a break. When I’ve taken a week off in the past, I’ve had guest writers lined up to fill my space on Page 9. They were usually friends and acquaintances who wanted to dip their toe into the column-writing pond but not do a reverse-4.5-somersault-in-the-pike-positi…

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It happened once when I was getting my hair cut; another time when my mother was pinning up the hem of a dress I was wearing. My scalp started to tingle as if a thousand tiny fairies were dancing on my head. Even though I knew my hair wasn’t sticking out like a porcupine, it felt like it was…

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Ok, I give. Mother Nature wins. (She always does.) Autumn is here and there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve accepted the familiar cold-morning routine of putting on a fleece wrap first thing when I get up, and I’m abiding the darkness of day’s end as it folds its arms around us earlier and…

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It seems like it was just yesterday that my mom’s shrinking flame flickered, faded, and went out. With the darkness she has left in her place, so she also leaves a long to-do list, intended by the universe to keep us busy so we don’t dwell too much on the ache of her absence.

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My 86-year-old mother has been living with Alzheimer’s since 2013. She tries to talk but we can’t make out a word she says. Except when I hand her a napkin she says something resembling, “Thank you” and when a little burp slips out she says a muffled, “Excuse me.” The polite part of her brai…

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