12Jun, 2020

During these Uncertain Times, Trips Down Memory Lane Warm the Heart and Provide an Anchor

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In these days of the Coronavirus Pandemic, urban unrest and ensuing heightened uncertainty, I have found trips down memory lane especially meaningful and calming. They connect me to my former self of happier times. They also ground me in various aspects of my family's traditions, experiences and history. All of which is such a welcome anchor. There are many productive [...]

5Jun, 2020

How to Bake the Perfect Treat for Strawberry Season: German-Style Strawberry Shortcake (Erdbeerkuchen)

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When I was a kid, my mom always made Erdbeerkuchen, i.e. German-style strawberry shortcake for my birthday because it falls at the beginning of strawberry season. Erdbeerkuchen was pretty much the only German cake recipe my American mother adopted from her German mother-in-law. In fact, she loved it so much that on a six-week trip to the U.S. when I [...]

29May, 2020

What to Do When You Want to Write a Story from Family History But Don’t Have Enough Material

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Welcome to another installment of my advice column where I answer readers’ questions about writing compelling stories from family history: Hope asks: I would like to write about a great-aunt who always fascinated me because she was locked away in an insane asylum. The family does not talk about her beyond very basic information. How do I go about this? [...]

8May, 2020

Three Uplifting but True-to-Life Books for You to Read during these Trying Pandemic Times

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In the face of depressing news I always ask myself: What can we set against it? And I always end up with the same answer: The pursuit of beauty and the spreading of kindness are the antidote. I am supposed to read Wave for my workshop this month. But I am dragging my feet because I really don't want to [...]

1May, 2020

Enjoying a Quirky, Tranquil and Off-the-Beaten Path Part of London: the Regent’s Canal Towpath

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My favorite photo from our walk along the Regent's Canal Towpath: My brother bending his way through one of its tunnels. I have another virtual trip for you: off the beaten track, along Regent's Canal Towpath in London. I spent a few days last week putting together a photo album of my trip to London last November with [...]

17Apr, 2020

Come Along on a Virtual Tour of the Ballestas Islands, whose Atmosphere is More Striking than that of Famous Machu Picchu

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Whenever I think of the Ballestas Islands, I see this image in my mind. It is my favorite photo of our entire trip to Peru. As we are into our fourth week of stay-at-home orders in the U.S., and my friends and family around the world are suffering the same confinement, I am ever more thankful for the [...]

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