My first “Moth” story…

I was honored to be part of a program benefitting Brookline.news, a non-profit online source of reporting — a crucial service — in the “news deserts” in which so many of us now live. To see the whole program (six https://brookline.news/a-soviet-arrest-crashing-a-bat-mitzvah-and-dropping-out-at-age-14-brookline-storytellers-help-mark-one-year-anniversary-of-brooklines

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25 years ago .. Remembering the shooting at Columbine

This column was published 25 years ago in the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine. It’s only gotten worse. And as Emilia has taught me, a whole generation — or is it two by now? — has grow up with the very real fear and present danger that someone might come and shoot up their school.  …

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Iris Apfel “Geriatric Starlet”

Iris Apfel — a fashion icon like none other — died on March 1 at the age of 102. The obituaries and testimonials were laudatory, affectionate and larded with more breathless adjectives than raisins in a fruitcake.I never met the woman in the flesh, but I did spend a couple of hours in 2009 with a selection from the contents of her amazing closet. And it changed the way I thought about my own closet

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2024: Audiobooks!

Good things happen in threes, right? And so it is that three of my Jewish guidebooks are being released as audiobooks this year. My novels became audiobooks soon after their print publication, but that was not the case for the five non-fiction guidebooks to contemporary Jewish life I wrote. It was no big surprise that…

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Period politics in Florida and Idaho

Trigger warning: Reading this might set your hair on fire. Earlier this month, Florida Republicans introduced and advanced a wave of bills on gender and diversity that, if passed, are likely to be signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). One GOP lawmaker acknowledged that his proposed sexual health bill would ban girls in grades…

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Losing Toby

Toby was my fourth dog. He was my COVID dog, my first shelter dog, first mutt. He was a ridiculously picky eater. He was my most photogenic dog. Toby had Milk Dud eyes, perky ears and a perfectly proportioned snoot (long but nothing like a snout). Once, he even stopped traffic — a big guy driving a construction…

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New Baby? Hip Replacement? I’ve got a stamp for that

It started with a sympathy card I’d written to a friend after the death of her father, but I only had few pastel “Love” with a bunch of flowers. Pretty posies on that envelope seemed as inappropriate as putting an AIDS quilt stamp on a “Welcome Baby” card, so I headed to the post office…

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I (heart) Boston

I am not Boston-born. I didn’t come for college and stay here, like many people I know. I chose this New England life 48 years ago and never budged. Staying put is a big change from my family’s history going back at least three generations. My great-grandparents on both sides were born in Poland; their children, my…

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Crickets: A Love Song to Late Summer

In April, I promised myself that I would savor the summer day by day, with the mantra: “Be here now.” But now that September is upon us, the fall field crickets (gryllus pennsyslvanicus) are calling time and, as usual, they’ve triggered the onset of my annual autumnal melancholy. Winter is coming. Woe is me. On…

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