Read a book

People who read books may live longer. Researchers at Yale University studied the habits of people 50 and older and discovered that people who read 3.5 hours a week may add nearly two years to their lives. You may live longer if you read books, but magazines and newspapers may not provide the same benefit. […]

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Playing outside

We all need to spend more time playing outside. Studies show that children spend less than 30 minutes a week playing outside. That’s right. Thirty minutes a week, says James Campbell in a recent article in the Los Angeles Times. However, they spend as many as seven hours a day with their eyes glued to […]

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The end of summer

Before Labor Day arrives—and it’s coming soon, I’m going to take a summer afternoon off. I’ll read a book—or go to a movie—or maybe I’ll do nothing. I’m inspired by a quote I found in the latest Bas Blue catalogue. It was prominently displayed on a list pad: “Time is precious. Waste it wisely!” –Joy

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Wonderful and most wonderful

I’ve known Stephanie, who is the same age as my daughter, since she was in elementary school. Now she’s a teacher and the mother of a beautiful baby—Millie Rose. On Sunday, I watched as the baby, dressed in a long white dress, was baptized. She raised her head and looked around, alert and interested, as […]

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Wild and free

It’s August, almost the end of the summer. The vacation season is coming to a close. Sooner than we realize, we’ll begin the months of celebration with Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Be sure to make time before the end of August for a new adventure. And, remember the wisdom of Thoreau: “All good […]

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Disguises and prettiness

On her journey across Australia with four camels and a dog, Robyn Davidson enjoyed freedom from “the perverted crippling insanity” of “social graces and female modesty.” Davidson wrote in her book Tracks, “I probably looked like a senile old derelict, in fact, with my over-large sandals, filthy baggy trousers, my torn shirt, my calloused hands […]

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Good luck and staying power

Sometimes success has much less to do with courage than “sheer good luck and staying power,” says Robyn Davidson, who writes about her journey across her native Australia with four camels and a dog in her book Tracks. Sometimes when I need inspiration, I return to a book I’ve already read—one about a Resolute Woman, […]

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The story of your life

You are the director of the movie of your life, Ann Madonia Casey reminded me in a recent essay in The Dallas Morning News. “In my imagination, the hereafter we deserve would be one we create for ourselves every breathing moment,” Casey writes. “It would be simply this: Each person is forced to watch the […]

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Try to be a rainbow

I asked for pretty stamps at the post office—and I got them! They’re stamps adorned with a lovely, smiling photograph of Maya Angelou, author of I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings. And, I hit the jackpot. There’s a Maya Angelou quote on each stamp and another quote on the sheet of 16 stamps. On […]

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A familiar room

Kirsten and Dieter are “dearest friends,” but they have differences of opinion. They have had the same argument for years until it became “something like a familiar room where they met,” writes Emily St. John Mandel in her book Station Eleven. My husband and I have some of those familiar rooms. Next time we disagree […]

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