Monthly Archives: October 2016

Small items pack big meaning and memory

  I was very close to my former mother-in-law, Mary Louise, and so grateful we were able to re-establish our loving relationship after the end of my 30-year-marriage to her only son and his tragic death in an accident a little over a year later. There’s nothing like a contentious divorce to tear a family […]

When ‘just do it’ just doesn’t do it

“Just decide once that you’re going to do it,” said my sister-in-law in a recent conversation. “Then you don’t have to keep deciding every day if you’re going to do it or not, because you’ve already decided.” We were talking about the small ways we trick ourselves into making and keeping hard commitments. I had […]

Making the most of an autumn weekend

  Sometimes my weekday life feels too busy by half. Between the commitments of work, family, friends and routine household and garden projects, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. By the time Friday afternoon rolls around, I sometimes wish I could just turn off my phone, turn off my brain, sit down quietly with an umbrella drink […]

A confession and an invitation for Next readers

I sometimes tell people that I was dragged into journalism by my hair, full of trepidation and self-doubt. And it’s true — you can check with my professors and mentors in the English department at the University of Maine. They’ll tell you I was sublimely happy back in the late 1990s, traipsing around the Orono […]