January 22, 2014 |
Right there in the coach's handbook, somewhere around Chapter 3, is where it says there is such a thing as a good loss for a basketball team that has gone midway through the season without facing either adversity or one of those nights when nothing goes very well. Call it a reminder, call it a teaching moment. But don't call it necessarily a bad thing. Jay Wright, after his Villanova team was dusted, 96-68, on Monday by a night-of-the-blue-snow shooting performance by Creighton, wasn't reading from that page, however.
January 20, 2014 |
On June 21, I boarded Train No. 650 at 30th Street Station for a first-day-of-summer yoga escape. Destined for a pristine beach oozing tranquillity? An isolated mountaintop exuding transcendence? More like an island - the one immortalized as the city that never sleeps. I was Manhattan-bound; though not to a hip yoga studio, but to the hubbub of Times Square. An estimated 15,000 other yogis and yoginis and I were participating in Mind Over Madness, all-day outdoor yoga sessions at the "Crossroads of the World" - and a fund-raiser for the yoga-inspired charities Bent on Learning and Urban Zen. I arrived in the Big Apple in the afternoon, made my way to Times Square Pedestrian Plaza, checked in with a T-shirted event attendant, squeezed into a tight spot, unrolled my mat, and got ready to Zen out during NYC's Friday-evening rush hour amid wailing sirens, honking horns, accents familiar and not, crystal-clear images flashing frenetically from mammoth video screens, vendors hawking $20 "Rolexes," stilt-walking Lady Libertys, a man in a wheelchair holding a cardboard sign scribbled with his honest plea for "spare change for beer and pizza," and a frenzy of more sights and sounds.
January 13, 2014 |
We have six wonderful grandchildren ranging in age from 12 to 5. Over the years, we have found choosing birthday gifts (fun and educational) very difficult. It is hard to find a spot-on gift for children who are blessed with so much. A few years ago, after searching frantically for a specific Lego set, we realized most gifts got lost in the excitement of the parties and the sea of presents. We wondered whether the kids even remembered what we gave them. So instead of birthday gifts, we decided to create adventures.
January 6, 2014 |
We sat on our surfboards and let the warm Pacific swell lift us and set us down in turns, waiting for the wave that would carry us to shore. Looking east, we squinted into the low morning light of a tropical sun and saw hot, white sand, steaming rain forest, and distant mountains all under a crystalline blue sky. For my wife, Amy, and me, it was the long-planned trip of a lifetime, repeatedly postponed because surfing the high season in Costa Rica...
December 30, 2013 |
My husband and I recently traveled to the Baltic capitals and Russia with our cousins. I am a recently retired Jewish educator and a cousin is a retired rabbi. We were on a group trip that included tours in each city. I arranged Jewish tours in Vilnius, Riga, and Moscow - not necessarily to trace our roots, but to see what history is evident. It is almost impossible for me to trace my roots; my relatives came from shtetls - poor, mostly Jewish villages in the Pale of Settlement in Russia, in what today is Ukraine, Lithuania, and Latvia.
December 23, 2013 |
My wife Patti was a science teacher at Upper Moreland for 35 years. She has a collection of sands from beaches the world over. Some are from her students' travels, and some are from hers. It's all sand from different exotic places, some in jars, some in plastic bags. On a trip to Hawaii many years ago, Patti got sand from a black beach and sand from a coral beach, both on the Big Island of Hawaii. The one beach that she wanted to get sand from was the green beach, one of only four in the world, on the farthest southern point of the United States, also on the Big Island.
December 16, 2013 |
It's a long, long way to ride a bike From Pittsburgh to D.C. But we just did it anyway, To see what we would see. We started out at Point State Park Went eastward up the Mon. Then up the Yough and Casselman To Cumberland beyond. Great Allegheny Passage Is this trail's official name. And if you bike or walk it, It brings out your best game. Along the way you'll pass Homestead And old McKeesport town; And later, Perryopolis, A little further down.
December 9, 2013 |
In August 2012, my companion, Ann, and I took a hiking trip with five other couples to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu. Each evening, we would bunk down in a modern, rustic eco-lodge. The nine-day trip involved hiking about 52 miles in six days through Peru. We are both in our mid-60s and fairly physically fit and active. However, there were many challenges on this trip: hiking 8 to 10 miles each day; adjusting to a high altitude of 15,000-plus feet; multiple changes in climate; eating local, unfamiliar foods; and avoiding injury.
December 2, 2013 |
We promised our children that when they were old enough we would take them to Ireland to show them where their great-grandparents were born and to visit relatives who still live there. So, one week after my son Connor's 18th birthday, my husband, John; daughter Bernadette, 19; Connor; and I boarded a plane to Europe. We started in Dublin, enjoying the Guinness factory tour, where we learned, among other things, how to pour the perfect pint before having our first "relative encounter" with John Walsh, a cousin who took us for a pint in Temple Bar, a quaint area of Dublin with cobblestone streets that is known for its nightlife.
November 25, 2013 |
Little Golden Books bring me back. A childhood favorite is the 1948 Little Red Riding Hood written and illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones. Do you remember this classic? The cover shows Little Red Riding Hood dressed in a hood and cape. Wearing her sturdy shoes, she stands on the threshold of Grandmother's open door. Framed by slices of cheery paper covering the exposed walls, she holds a fistful of posies in her outstretched hand. What makes this version so special is that the illustrator captured not only the child's innocence but also her hesitation.