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Opinion / Guest Commentary

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Chet and Ron and the quality of regret

The small stack of elderly firewood beside my garage occasionally reminds me of Chet and Ron. They were my first two project bosses after I was hired by a management consulting... — Updated 2/5/2020

 By Sally Hartmann    Opinion

Especially happy landings

As a former very frequent flier, I’ve followed the news about Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane crisis and the appointment of a new CEO to drive major change. While this news hasn’t... — Updated 1/29/2020


Childhood memory comes alive again

It was almost midnight when we settled in by the fire and my friend said to the group, "I want to hear everyone's favorite childhood memory." Groans of protest ensued. "Come on ...... — Updated 1/22/2020

 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 1/15/2020

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

The joy of a little creative clutter

Each January after the holidays are over, there seems to be a renewed obligation or duty to reorganize. Everywhere you look there are articles, books and news stories that promise... — Updated 1/8/2020

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Longtime friends actually strangers

I’ve never actually met two of my best friends, though our friendship has lasted over 40 years. John Irving and Stephen King have been dear companions of mine since 1979. I met... — Updated 12/30/2019

 By Katie Hughes    Opinion

A not so silent night

Every Christmas for the past 14 years, I've sat in a wooden pew at St. Isaac Jogues Church. I've looked around at the evergreen Christmas trees, admired the poinsettias covering the... — Updated 12/23/2019


In midst of chaos, Christmas will come

Every year, my husband and I debate the aesthetics of our outdoor holiday lights. I like the lights to look symmetrical and enchanting and labor over each light placement. He calls... — Updated 12/18/2019


Loss can remind us of blessings

I was listening to the radio the other day when I heard something that resonated with me deeply. The radio host was talking about the significance of family during the holiday... — Updated 12/4/2019

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

Guests make table memorable

We sold Mom’s Spode Christmas Tree china set this week on Craig’s List. “That wasn’t so hard, was it?” I asked Mom. She pointed out that we had packed up the set over a... — Updated 11/26/2019


For love's sake, don't look away

One year and one day ago, a 93-year-old woman ran down my wife, Susan, on the sidewalk on First Street, shattering her, shoulders to knees. Sue and I were out for our daily walk. Th... — Updated 11/20/2019

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

'Why?' is life's most important question

In a recent community theater production, I portrayed a woman who has an affair. “Becky” loved her husband and son, endured a boring job with good humor and did not suffer in... — Updated 11/13/2019

 By Katie Hughes    Opinion

Discovering I had the write stuff

Do you remember where you were when you discovered who you could be? I do. I was at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Well, at least in my imagination. My favorite... — Updated 11/7/2019

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

When love writes the story

No matter how much you prepare or plan for it, parenthood has a way of writing its own story. Its love has a strength that is greater than I could have ever known. My own journey... — Updated 10/30/2019

 By Sally Hartmann    Opinion

Downstairs at the Hartmanns

Our family moved to Hinsdale in 1976, buying a more spacious house on a wooded lot with an easy walk to the train. An especially appreciated feature was our much-needed, first-ever... — Updated 10/23/2019


Peer buddies comfort more than freshmen

They say that time flies. They say that these four years will go by in a flash. But I remember my first day of freshman year. It was a scorching hot day in August. A short-sleeved... — Updated 10/18/2019

 By Beth Smits    Opinion

From magical visits to real life

"You have to be patient to live here," Patrick remarked with a wry smile. We were trapped in a narrow street in the small French town where we were spending the month. There was... — Updated 10/9/2019

 By Amy McCauley    Opinion

There's no taste like home

Have you ever longed for a flavor? A favorite food you remember from childhood or a particular dish? A little over three years ago, my family made an unexpected cross-country move f... — Updated 10/2/2019

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Growing pains seem never to end

“Wow, you look warm,” someone comments. This is a frequent occurrence for me. Neither dewy nor glowing, I simply appear uncomfortably hot. Which, in fact, I am. But there’s a... — Updated 9/25/2019


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 9/20/2019

 By Peter Celauro    Opinion

Seeking clarity amidst the clamor

On Thursday morning, the alarms went off. All of them. Every cell phone. Every egg timer. Every theft alert in every Walgreens, Walmart, Best Buy and bank. In an instant, every... — Updated 9/20/2019

 By Susan OByrne    Opinion

Random acts of chit chat

I recently read about a study that investigated the relationship of human happiness to random social contact. Scientists found that even momentary social interaction with a... — Updated 9/20/2019


Much to learn on 100-mile hike

I have long dreamed about backpacking the Appalachian Trail and in July, that dream became reality. I've gone on organized hiking trips in the past, but this adventure would be diff... — Updated 9/20/2019

 By Sally Hartmann    Opinion

Appreciating life's silver linings

The classic film "Gaslight" (1944), starring Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, has been a favorite of mine for years. (Spoiler alert: Set in Victorian London, the dashing,... — Updated 9/20/2019

 By Katie Hughes    Opinion

Moving on can be scary, until it's not

Sometimes in life you just have to move on. For me, this time, it happened suddenly. In fact, if you had asked me just a month ago if I was excited to go to college, I'd have said... — Updated 9/20/2019


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