What it feels like when your child goes off to college

You drop your pride and joy off at college. You pull into your daughter’s new dorm full of nerves and excitement. You’re not sure what to feel, but you don’t have time to focus. The squad of resident assistants and greeters is on top of you in minutes to help unload your SUV brimming with …

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No easy answers

Sometimes the simplest questions pose the biggest challenges. I had to fill out a registration form recently for an upcoming 5k race. The form asked the usual questions: name, address and age on the day of the race. Simple enough, but I still had to think for a second. Did the race organizers want me …

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They lied to us

The world’s leading doctors and scientists lied to us, blatant, exaggerated lies. First they told us that a glass of wine a day was good for us, then they said it was bad for us and then back again. You’re not sure what to believe. Case in point: doctors have long told us that adults …

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Where did I put my car keys again?

When a customer service representative asked for the best way to contact me recently, I immediately started giving her my childhood phone number. I haven’t thought about the phone number in more than 25 years. I’m not even sure it works anymore. And it came blurting out of my mouth in a rapid-fire response like I …

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My own version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The over-achiever in me was upset. The hard worker, who has long prided himself on his work ethic and productive time management skills, had wasted an entire day. I had a day off from work and family obligations, the first in months, and I did nothing. I let the vacation day slip between my fingers …

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Seeing the good in people

A number of years ago, I wrote a feature story on some of the financial challenges that a small Northern Virginia homeless shelter and food bank faced staying open. I got to thinking about the shelter recently and two people I met when I visited. The exchange between the two spoke volumes about them . . …

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Shhh, I think I’ve become a feminist

One hot sticky summer night, two old-timers and a young guy from a nearby factory came into my grocery store line, where I worked as a teenager, and started to complain about the “damn women-libbers” who were trying to take their jobs. They had only a few items and I worked quickly to get them through my …

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Special needs camp counselor: In over my head

I’ve always been awestruck by the challenge special education teachers face on a daily basis. I became even more impressed a number of years ago when I served as a weekend camp counselor for a mentally and physically disabled boy. I found the experience eye-opening. . . . . . . Joey, a 12-year-old boy with …

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Two women, two different approaches to life

I learned a valuable lesson on aging this week. We ran into two elderly women that we know well. They’ve both lived long productive lives, well into their seventh and eighth decades. They have also faced their share of ups and downs, highs and lows, births and deaths and everything else in between. The first women told my wife …

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Passing the ball: Celebrating everyday sacrifices for the good of the team

We as a society celebrate athletic excellence: the last second shot, the game winning touchdown. We rarely celebrate the hard work and the behind-the-scenes steps leading up to the game-winning act. The day after the Villanova University Wildcats won the NCAA National Championship over Goliath-like University of North Carolina, The New York Times detailed how …

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