Death · Family · funerals

All the Best, Mr. President

Dear Susan, Recently overheard in the Kennedy living room: “Who is that long-haired hippie?” “Is it ZZ Top?” “No, the beard’s not quite right.” “It’s the Oak Ridge Boys. They’ve been traveling around with their suits for the last few weeks in case the President passed.” Not your usual holiday party chit chat, huh? By… Continue reading All the Best, Mr. President

Happiness · thanksgiving

Everything I Need to Know About Thanksgiving I Learned at the Dog Show

Dear Anne, On Saturday, I found myself in heaven on earth, surrounded by thousands of wagging tails and wet noses; a heaven I can visit every year, right before Thanksgiving. While The National Dog Show is broadcast on Thanksgiving Day, it actually takes place the weekend before, just outside of Philadelphia. Do you think I’d miss… Continue reading Everything I Need to Know About Thanksgiving I Learned at the Dog Show

Friendship · Lenten practices · retreat · women

Retreats Gone “Wild”

Dear Susan, I have determined that God must be speaking to us through Lin Manuel Miranda. You wrote a moving piece on forgiveness, based on his blockbuster musical, Hamilton.  At a retreat I attended this past weekend, the afternoon led off with a talk referencing “Satisfied,” based on a song from the same show.   I… Continue reading Retreats Gone “Wild”


The Greatest, Weirdest, Gift–And a Dog’s Goodbye

Dear Anne, Almost four years ago, my mom gave me a great gift. She moved out of my childhood home in Virginia and into a retirement community near me in Pennsylvania, giving us more time with her and fewer worries about her health and safety. Along with that gift, came another one—Grandma’s standard poodle, Barney,… Continue reading The Greatest, Weirdest, Gift–And a Dog’s Goodbye