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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Snowmaggedon

SNOWMAGGEDON!! January 31, 2022 It got very quiet that night. Kind of like Christmas Eve, if a little less twinkly. The supermarket parking lots were empty. It was so still that I could hear the click and buzz of streetlights going red to green. Every passing car was an event. It was the overture to…

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Unmasked. Maybe.

Once upon a time, in March 2020, I taped a paper mask to the inside of my front door as a public health and safety reminder. But because I tend to leave the house without at least one of the essentials (keys, cell phone, leash, poop bags for Toby, the Terrier mix), I wrote “Mask?”…

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More Mass Shootings: Between Fury and Despair

I wrote my first mass-shooting column 22 years ago, after two students at Columbine High School murdered 13 of their classmates and then turned the guns on themselves. That happened in Littleton, Colorado, a few miles from where I grew up. I addressed that piece to reassure my daughter, who was then in middle school…

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Since when are tampons a “privilege?”

We are in the midst of a sea change in the image and even the experience of menstruation, thanks to a generation of girls who are growing up with much more information, thanks to moms and the internet, where cheerful gynecologists explain everything, including how to insert a tampon. (Raise your hand if you remember your first time doing that, all alone in the bathroom with nothing but a confusing package insert for guidance.)

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Bye bye Blackbird. And Sparrow. And Finch.

It’s quiet outside: in the suburbs, in the city, in the mountains, and near the sea. But this morning, I finally realized that it is too quiet. Weirdly quiet.  The kind of quiet that, in movies, signals something terrible is about to happen. When the background music disappears and the sound of a lone cricket…

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Bake sales for women’s rights?

Planned Parenthood is benefiting from bake sales to protect women’s reproductive healthcare. A wine bar in Somerville is offering $12 glasses of rose to underwrite abortions in Alabama, where the uterus is apparently now in the public domain. Am I supposed to celebrate or pull out my hair? The answer is … yes. It’s crazy…

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