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 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

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

The chocolate pie that saved the day

The happy frenzy of the holiday cooking season is coming. It would seem that Thanksgiving is all about the traditional turkey, but in our house I know better. Everything I make is... — Updated 11/18/2020


Why grit is the best indicator for success

Growing up, I always believed that attaining higher education and possessing an above-average IQ were strong indicators of success. I believed that a class schedule full of AP... — Updated 11/11/2020


Girls and boys and lessons in optimism

Early into the school shutdowns this past spring, I got reassured by the two girls next door. Not missing a beat, Caroline began Zooming ballet, younger Julia hip hop. Caroline... — Updated 11/4/2020

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Pandemic prompts summer road trip

It seemed like 2020 just couldn't stop dishing out nasty surprises, so this summer I went rogue and took a 1,400-hundred mile road trip to Arizona with the kids and the dog. I'd not... — Updated 10/28/2020


Standardized tests a whole new ballgame

Picture this: you're walking into Wrigley Field and see the Sox playing. You check your tickets and nope, it's not the Cross Town Classic. That is the same feeling every single... — Updated 10/14/2020

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Thoughts on returning from the Emerald Isle

Finally - after being apart since February, I was able to see my partner Patrick in person. We spent the month of August in Ireland, after waiting through various July deadlines to... — Updated 10/7/2020

 By Bret Conway    Opinion

Your old road is rapidly aging

Bob Dylan once sang about prior generations turning a cynical eye to youth activism. Fifty-six years later, when recent Hinsdale Central grad Maiwen Amegadjie organized June's... — Updated 9/30/2020

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

'Dream house' is in the eye of beholder

Every home has a story to tell. We live in an orange brick 1960s colonial revival. Our Realtor affectionately called it the "Leave It to Beaver House." Our house was well-loved,... — Updated 9/23/2020


Nothing bigger than the little things

If there's one thing that the pandemic has taught me, it's that the over-scheduled and over-consumerized lifestyles that we were once living is not sustainable. The societal... — Updated 9/16/2020

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Kid favorites have adult appeal

You see them everywhere these days. Their names are Max, Tillie, Sadie, Dixie, Leo, Rocky, Pepper. They are joyful, bounding around on lawns, their entire little bodies vibrating... — Updated 9/2/2020


Travel in the age of COVID-19

Even in the best of times, I'm a bit squeamish about breathing the shared air in an airplane cabin. If my fellow passengers start coughing and sneezing around me, I try to keep my mind off of germs floating in my direction by... — Updated 8/26/2020

 By Laura LaPlaca    Opinion

Comfort food key for unnamed time

I am challenging myself to write this column without (not once) mentioning that word we are all tiring of. Here goes ... I would not consider myself a good cook. Adequate, yes. I... — Updated 8/19/2020


Connections critical now more than ever

As an ICU physician, I have seen the horrors of COVID-19 up close. I have witnessed firsthand what this virus can do to people, to their bodies, to their spirits and to their... — Updated 8/5/2020

 By Jen Dean    Opinion

'Live, Laugh, Love' like Pooky

We lost my paternal grandfather, Pooky, last month. He would have been 99 in August. He did not die from COVID-19 but was a victim, nonetheless. Pooky was the life of the party who... — Updated 7/29/2020

 By Bill Lewis    Opinion

(Limited) Words to live by

I only have 500 words, so I'll be brief. Be who you are, ignore the critics. Listen to the person inside - not the one who's wrong, but the one who knows right from wrong. Really... — Updated 7/22/2020

 By Mary Rayis    Opinion

Coronavirus confidential

I have a little secret. I am kind of enjoying this era of enforced isolation occasioned by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. Sure, there are days when I awaken feeling that I'm... — Updated 7/15/2020

 By John Bourjaily    Opinion

Last-minute getaway a true gift

Several weeks ago my daughters came up with this crazy idea of all of us going to South Carolina for a family vacation. What's even more ridiculous, they wanted to leave in 12... — Updated 7/8/2020

 By Denise Joyce    Opinion

Minus parade, hope marches on

I think the refugees currently living with my husband and me would have enjoyed Hinsdale's Fourth of July parade. By "refugees" I mean my daughter, Amanda, son-in-law Drew and my 5-... — Updated 7/1/2020

 By Sally Hartmann    Opinion

Three dozen columns sum it up

My tenure as a contributing columnist officially ends today with my 31st column for the Hinsdalean. Adding five written earlier for The Doings brings the total to 36 over 10 years.... — Updated 6/24/2020


Old or young or in between?

My teenage son, who runs cross country, shrugs and cringes slightly when I invite him to run with me these days. Once a junior Olympian and collegiate runner myself, I'm no slouch,... — Updated 6/17/2020

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Mindfulness minus action lacks meaning

After volunteering these past few weeks at HCS Family Services with the food pantry and more recently experiencing the justified outrage about police brutality and systemic... — Updated 6/10/2020

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

'Groundhog's Day' has new resonance

These days, I find myself waking up to what sometimes feels like one long day on repeat. As our routines have changed, the days have a way of blending together. Occasionally, I... — Updated 6/3/2020

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Unexpected savior during COVID-19

I'm going to be honest: the bloom is off the rose. I'm done with family time. What little attraction shelter-in-place once had for me is now gone. We can say how nice it is to slow... — Updated 5/27/2020


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