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 By Denise Joyce    Opinion

Thoughts of peace under night sky

One of my favorite childhood memories is looking up at the night sky with my dad. After pulling into the garage/tool shed following an evening outing, my four siblings and I would... — Updated 5/26/2021

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Intersection of the art world and my world

Having the Art Institute of Chicago nearby was a definite bonus of growing up in Hinsdale. Thanks to a steady cadence of visits that included Oak School class trips and the... — Updated 5/19/2021

 By Bret Conway    Opinion

Don't stop believin'

Growing up in The Region, my Dad had a sub-30-minute stretch goal from our driveway to Comiskey Park. Depending on the Dan Ryan traffic and his risk-taking appetite, this was... — Updated 5/12/2021

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

Lessons learned from own obituary

It's never too late to write a new beginning A few years ago, in a strange turn of events, my law school mistakenly published that I had died. I had not seen that edition of the... — Updated 5/5/2021


Lyrics reminds us this too shall pass

I opened my car windows on a recent warm spring day, and, as I drove, the fresh air hit my cheeks and whipped my hair into happy knots. U2's song "40" played on the radio, and... — Updated 4/21/2021


Multi-tasking can lead to insanity

It started out like an ordinary Thursday. Although now that I think of it, I actually remember feeling like it was a particularly peaceful weekday morning. The boys got up and to... — Updated 4/7/2021


March Madness of a different kind

The arrival of April 1 also brings final college decisions. Let me be the first to say, it has been a wild ride. The Class of 2021 knew that college applications were going to be... — Updated 3/31/2021

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Different cats, different joys

There are two cats in my life right now. One's in Ireland and the other is in Hinsdale, and both of them have made this crazy time more bearable. Moomin is my rescue cat. Like so... — Updated 3/24/2021

 By Bret Conway    Opinion

Laissez les bon temps rouler

My double nickel birthday falling on Fat Tuesday had me pining for a return to the city not for spectators, but for participants. The following travelogue recollections spotlight... — Updated 3/17/2021

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

Wonderstruck by splendor of spring

Waist deep in a flowerbed full of colorful zinnias, I stopped weeding. I looked up and saw a monarch butterfly and then it hit me - I was wonderstruck. Its beauty was so... — Updated 3/10/2021


Paying it forward, one burger at a time

It's not as if my teenage son needs more reason to be embarrassed of me, but at lunch recently, I know he wanted the earth to swallow him alive, right there at the cash register. I... — Updated 3/3/2021


Mails, emails and paper trails

I confess I've been reading other people's mail for many of the past decades. No, I've not been opening stuff misdelivered to my mailbox. I'm talking about the letters of people... — Updated 2/24/2021

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Life not entirely devoid of surprises

Remember the old cliché about insanity - doing something over and over again, but expecting a different outcome? That's, frankly, kind of the way I've been behaving for the past... — Updated 2/17/2021


Coming in from the rain

In my last column, I wrote about getting drenched. I said that the sky above our family was falling and our roof was leaking. Since that column, our monsoon has thankfully passed.... — Updated 2/10/2021


My generation is out of touch with love

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I have started paying extra close attention to the way the definition of love has changed over the last few decades. Over dinner the... — Updated 2/3/2021

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

'Life-changing magic' of library

When I moved my household from Washington, D.C. into storage, I got rid of about 100 books. Some were obvious choices, like the global trade textbook that was required for a class... — Updated 1/27/2021

 By Bret Conway    Opinion

Plant-based diet has grown on me

In September 2019, I thought it would be wise to get my doc's clearance prior to running 26.2 miles on a Sunday the following month. In my check up, he asked something typically not... — Updated 1/20/2021

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Novel adaptations soothe trying times

T.S. Eliot's J. Alfred Prufrock once famously stated that he had "measured out (his) life with coffee spoons." In these parlous times, however, I've found myself measuring out my li... — Updated 1/13/2021


Bid this trio farewell for a happier 2021

From a global pandemic to a tumultuous U.S. presidential election, 2020 has wreaked havoc on our minds, bodies and spirits. It was a soul-crushing year, yet - despite it all - I've... — Updated 1/6/2021


In with the new never felt better

2021! It’s almost here, and I’ve never been more excited to welcome a new year. New Year’s is usually a pretty ho hum holiday in my book, but not this year, no ma’am. It’s... — Updated 12/29/2020

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

Miles don't dim light of Christmas Queen

For as long as I can remember, my mom has been the queen of Christmas. Perhaps your family has its own Christmas queen or king? Someone whose love for the holidays is so... — Updated 12/22/2020


Peace and joy, come to you

The sky is falling. At least our sky is falling, over our home, and within our family. Health concerns of beloved family members have my husband and me scrambling to help. I used to... — Updated 12/16/2020


The 'driving around' phenomenon

Behind the steering wheel of my 2016 Toyota RAV 4 Hybrid, I've made some of my best memories. From hearing my favorite song on the radio for the first time, to driving to the city... — Updated 12/9/2020

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Learning to listen one benefit of 2020

It's time to look back at the year that was and reflect on lessons learned. Of course, learning a lesson is not the same as applying it, and I am far from skilled at practicing... — Updated 12/2/2020

 By Bret Conway    Opinion

A November decluttering project

With politics dominating the headlines, I am consciously - but maybe not subconsciously - steering well clear of any partisan chatter. You'll get your share of that during... — Updated 11/24/2020


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