Oh, Henry!

November 25, 2021

My spouse recently pointed out to me that, although my blog is advertised as “Reflections about my life, and about the dogs and humans that I love,” I haven’t written about the dog who is currently my favorite canine companion. This kvetch contains a partial truth: I haven’t written a blog post about Henry. However, I’ve definitely posted about Henry on Facebook. According to my count, there are 121 photos of Henry on my phone, and I’m fairly certain I’ve shared more than half of them since October 13, 2020. So I thought I’d write about Henry today, on Thanksgiving, and express my gratitude to … Read more

The Latest News

November 19, 2021

This week, while concentrating on creative writing and editorial responsibilities, I decided it was time to send out a long-overdue newsletter. If you haven’t already subscribed to my quarterly newsletter, From My Writer’s Notebook, please visit the home page, scroll down and subscribe. It’s as easy as clicking a button! In other news, my post from October 29th about the resettlement of Afghan families in Metro ATL, “Welcome Home,” was shared on the Rabbis Without Borders blog yesterday. Be sure to stop by My Jewish Learning to read it, along with other interesting articles on the many partner blogs that are hosted at My Jewish … Read more

Homecoming

November 12, 2021

“Home is where the heart is.” —Pliny the Elder  “If you go anywhere, even paradise, you will miss your home.” —Malala Yousafzai My spouse and I recently began our 23rd year of living in Metro Atlanta. As we’re now empty nesters and beginning to think about where we might move when he retires, I’ve been feeling a tug toward New York. I’m also feeling guilty for thinking about leaving, because this is my home now. When I recall how homesick I was in the early 2000s, I feel sorry for my younger self.  In those days, when we’d take the kids to Turner Field, I’d … Read more

Welcome Home

October 29, 2021

The local chapter of National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is preparing welcome baskets for Afghan families about to arrive in Metro Atlanta. Because this organization has a long history and strong commitment to the resettlement of immigrants, as well as a true desire for a deeper understanding of and sensitivity to their needs, NCJW engaged with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta (ISB) to provide volunteers with background information about Afghanistan and promote cultural sensitivity. I already knew a fair amount about Afghan history and geography and, having lived with an Afghan family in Israel 35 years ago, I was familiar with the resilience and … Read more

Anticipatory Grief

October 20, 2021

We rescued Luna in December 2013, about 8 weeks after our first dog died. Jenna, a Chocolate Lab we rescued in 2003, had slowed down in the late summer. She was 13 years old, and her decline was swift. When it was time to let her go, we knew it was time.  We agreed to wait a while—at least 6 months—to adopt another dog. I began searching rescue and shelter websites almost immediately. I really missed having a dog at home. Our eldest daughter was in her first semester of college, our younger daughter was in high school, and our son was in middle school. … Read more

Creating Peace

October 14, 2021

When I first joined Tiferet’s Spiritual Poetry Writing class in July 2020, I never expected to find a well-spring of creativity and a source of sustenance in an online community of writers, never imagined I would spend an entire year of Thursday afternoons on Zoom, connecting so deeply with strangers. The class is hosted and facilitated by Donna Baier Stein, an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and poet, founder of Tiferet Journal and a gifted teacher. Donna selects poems from a range of religious and spiritual traditions. She reads the first poem aloud, suggests a writing prompt to us, instructs us we’re free to choose … Read more

Terms of Renewal

October 7, 2021

Just over 2 years ago, I posted about the process of healing the body and spirit following a prolonged period of stress. It was the month before Rosh Hashanah, and I’d been reflecting on the meaning of teshuvah as restoring oneself. I’m not surprised to find myself thinking and writing about these same themes as we begin the new Jewish year in the midst of a second year of the pandemic. One of the things that helped me maintain my emotional equilibrium during the past year was returning to the gym after months of quarantine. At first, classes were limited in capacity with participants distanced … Read more

Return to Me

August 5, 2021

Earlier this week, when I was looking around the garage to see if there was anything more I could recycle or remove, I paused to ponder the shopping bag of plastic Target bags. After sixteen months of curbside pickup—despite having used many as garbage bags—I’ve accumulated quite a stash. I tossed them into the trunk of the car and tried to return them to Target, and was disappointed to learn they are not accepting returned bags at this time.  Maybe in a few months I’ll try again. Although it’s still summer, we’re in a season of return. Students are returning to school, my spouse and … Read more

Countdown to Shavuot

May 10, 2021

As I prepare to co-host a study session on Zoom at the virtual Tikkun Leyl Shavuot next week, I remember back to when getting ready for a Zoom festival was not part of the routine. Here’s a taste from my post on the Rabbis Without Borders blog from last Sukkot, October 1, 2020: The 3 ½ weeks leading up to Rosh Hashanah are lost in a haze of last-minute purchases: a new modem, spare headphones, a wifi extender, and, finally, a 50-foot ethernet cable. Forget about connecting to the congregation, or God, without an enduring internet connection. The 5 weekdays between Rosh Hashanah and Yom … Read more

Adulting: A Reflection on Gratitude

December 2, 2019

In case you missed my post on the Rabbis Without Borders blog last week–perhaps you were enjoying Thanksgiving with your family–I’m sharing the link here. It’s always a good time to feel grateful: Two months ago, I purchased a Dyson vacuum for my daughter for her 25th birthday. She was thrilled and posted about what great parents we were on Facebook, writing: “It’s a sign of adulting when you’re this excited about receiving an appliance as a birthday gift.” This made me think about when I began adulting. I was 22 years old when I packed one oversized suitcase and a canvas briefcase, and moved … Read more