A passerby one cold morning would have thought my daughter was preparing to traverse the Oregon Trail in a tattered covered wagon,... Read more
Celebrating holidays with family defies the laws of spacial dynamics. Across America, houses built to shelter a maximum of four people and... Read more
The most memorable advice my father shared was a simple seven-word message he punched out on his label-making device and affixed to... Read more
They say you need eight glasses a day. But eight glasses of what? It depends on your stage in life.
I’m maneuvering through... Read more
The specifics of the incident remain hazy, but the story of the confrontation is legendary, at least in my mind. My dad... Read more
I love a good debate. Not so much with my 16-year-old, because our family unit isn’t a democracy when it comes to... Read more
I’ve remained apolitical most of my life but have never missed the privilege to vote in a local, state or national election... Read more
I’m sure the spirit of French physician Charles Pierre Louis de Gardanne won’t mind if the medical world were to rename the... Read more
“Punch it!” my dad would belt out, filling the awkward silence created after I had completed an excessively wide turn onto the... Read more
What happened to Saturdays? The undisputed best day of the week back when seat belts were used to keep grocery bags upright... Read more
The postseason of Major League Baseball looms. If you are a Chicago Cubs fan, feel sorry for those who are or are... Read more
Growing up on the north side of Chicago, I thought I understood diversity. The patchwork neighborhood in which we lived stitched together... Read more
The “do-it-yourself” gene lay dormant in my system for nearly 20 years, about the same length of time since my father departed... Read more
One of the toughest jobs I’ve worked was a stint in the fast food industry when I turned 16. It took a... Read more
My husband and I officially move on to parenting a high school student next year. It’s unchartered territory for us but we’ve... Read more
I never thought about creating a “bucket list” until my daughter declared she could cross something off hers.
Granted, I think her comment... Read more
Just when I thought the last gift was opened ...
Tearing down the glitter-covered decorations and twinkling lights after the holidays reminds me... Read more
Ah, to be a kid again — to have no fear of consequences, no fear of failure, no fear of injury.
No wonder... Read more
It’s difficult to say goodbye to the year, even when challenges outnumbered triumphs. This year — and every year since my realization... Read more
The washing machine is off the hook for the latest incidents of missing socks. There’s a new thief in town who could... Read more
Break out the brats, hot dogs and hamburgers and dare to cook on a charcoal grill in your white attire — today... Read more
David and Goliath. Allison Kostusik and Abercrombie Kids. One used a perfectly aimed stone. The other harnessed the power of the Internet.
We... Read more
The headline hit me like my daughter's occasional errant volleyball serves. "County voter turnout lowest since 1942."
That can't be. It must... Read more
They are called lightning bugs or fireflies, depending on the part of the country from which you originate. My family has always... Read more
When I purchased spotlights to illuminate the American flag we display on the front of the house, my daughter bombarded me with... Read more
While TV cartoons and childhood toys have changed since my days as a freckled-face, sugar-powered kid, the rules of sleepovers have not.... Read more
The cursor kept blinking, like a flashing yellow caution light at an intersection. The intersection I'm approaching is not near a specific... Read more
"I am being careful. It just looks like I'm not," she barked with a cold glare while wielding the hot clothes iron.... Read more
Fat and happy. That's what the darn robin appeared to be, resting on the lower branch of the mature maple tree. He... Read more
The radio commercial said you could make Mother's Day special if you bought this item for your mom, your wife, your grandma... Read more
I had hoped to talk my daughter into using the leftovers uncovered in the bowels of the refrigerator as the subject for... Read more
Do you remember the first time you discovered a shortcut on the way home from your best friend's house? You stumbled upon... Read more
Nicknamed the Cottage in the Woods, a quaint colorful playhouse that has weathered Kansas storms, scorching summer sun and snowy conditions has... Read more
We've all heard Benjamin Franklin's observation that the only things in life that are certain are death and taxes.
In case you... Read more
The Easter postcard from Poland, loosely translated, said, "My most sincere wishes for a peaceful Easter. May Jesus take you in his... Read more
When mom and I decided to drive to Chicago at the last minute, I remember thinking, "This could be a sequel to... Read more
Blessings can come in unlikely packages, with no ribbons, bows or bright, cheery wrapping paper. They can be hidden among tears and... Read more
There was an aroma coming from the kitchen that no one in my household was used to smelling. So that ruled out... Read more
Between a rock, a hard place and a meeting. That's where women often find themselves when struggling to merge work and children's... Read more
Periodically, I am away from home for about three days for work-related travel. I stress about everything before I leave. Is there... Read more
As dad always liked to remind everyone, "My wife was born the same year as Pearl Harbor." It was his answer to... Read more
"Can I help you find something, ma'am," asked the polite and helpful, but obviously sight-impaired, gentleman in the tools section of the... Read more
One-twelfth of the way through 2010 and everyone is asking, "Where has the time gone?" OK, not everyone is asking this question,... Read more
I've always been one to push things to the limit with my actions and words. The Pawlowski side of me requires I... Read more
Identity theft is rampant in our society. With options to buy anything over the phone or online with a few keystrokes of... Read more
As a mom, have you ever hesitated to leave the kids alone with dad so you could run errands? It's not that... Read more
Who knew the "it" gifts for the holiday season should have been tire socks for the car and a snow blower? Or... Read more
We are two full days into 2010 and I am grateful for the invention of online banking and debit cards. They will... Read more
The celebration of our "firsts" begins as soon as we enter the world. Parents dote, then document with photos the milestones in... Read more
My daughter didn't get her sense of fashion from me. I'm as fashion-challenged as they come.
If I am wearing an outfit... Read more
Really, 4 a.m. is a crazy time to wake up to enjoy a hobby.
But it's deer season and it's not my... Read more
Three, two, one, beeeep!
That is the sound of the treadmill warning it's time to lift my feet and start walking. I've... Read more
Imagine the possibilities if children were in charge.
Life would be much simpler and sane, with fewer worries about everything.
When was... Read more
Being thankful is sometimes difficult, especially when the economy is unpredictable, jobs are scarce and bills are piling up as we inch... Read more
She sits atop the dresser, snuggled between an old light-up world globe and a Winnie-the-Pooh porcelain tea set. Her feet are bare;... Read more
Dear American Military Family:
After I tucked my daughter into bed last night, I tripped over stuffed animals and clothes littering her... Read more
You won't find it on a tourist map, but bowling at the senior residential facility was high on the list of "must-dos"... Read more
We've all screamed those two words at some point, whether we were trying to show the coach we finally learned... Read more
It's a modern day twist on the traditional kid's game of cops and robbers. It's also what happens when a 9-year-old with... Read more
I sat on the patio enjoying temperature in the mid-60s and the change of the season while reflecting on the Chicago Cubs'... Read more
As the evening cooled off and the crisp autumn air settled in, we smelled the smoke.
"We should get a chiminea so... Read more
The setting was never fancy or pretentious - a wobbly cardboard table in the dining room with metal folding chairs or the... Read more
Back in my day, "I'm running away from home," was code for "I can't eat mom's meatloaf again."
And it was usually... Read more
Weeds have crept into my life.
They have infiltrated the strawberry patch and the herb garden to the extent that I don't... Read more
The vacation continues:
While we waited for a marina worker to save us from the crashing waves and nearby rocks, I began... Read more
The vacation, part 3.
We slept soundly knowing we had a vehicle that could transport us to the nearest hospital if our... Read more
The vacation, Part 2:
When Hilly's Hooker service pulled away with our rental car, we didn't know if we would ever have... Read more
A week's vacation planned for months was at hand and nothing, and I mean nothing, could spoil the anticipated time off without... Read more
Reading anonymous reader comments online is like rubbernecking a car accident. You hate to stare or even admit you are staring at... Read more
I had been searching for a pair of jeans, the new kind with what's called a "comfort" waistband instead of the old... Read more
A familiar symbol of childhood summers, the lemonade stand, represents the entrepreneurial spirit of the pint-sized children coordinating the no-frills, low-overhead business.... Read more
Sibling behavior doesn't change much after 40 years. Brothers and sisters still argue and try to prove each other wrong in all... Read more