The Issue
You can tell you’re well into spring by the number of shower and graduation invitations you receive. (And the person with the most invitations wins!) Thus explains this spring—but-nearly summer— issue of Empty Nest. We hope you’ll find it well worth waiting for! Poet William Bedford sparks our imaginations to remember those first magical moments of spring. Are personal trainers worth it? Read “Fighting Age” and decide for yourself. Dr. Dan Gottlieb teaches us to live in the moment as he struggles with the past and future during a fair-weather outing. In our FAMILY department, we travel from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day via a mother’s open love letter to her grown children. Jim Porterfield convinces us that there’s fun for everyone when vacationing with a railroad fan. One empty-nesting couple makes a quick decision to celebrate Earth Day and Easter with a “Rocky Mountain High.” Promoting happiness, Julie Longacre joins us again with an inspiring review of Goldie Hawn’s memoir, A Lotus Grows in the Mud. In “Real People Empty Nesting,” we meet dynamic mother-daughter duo Margie Greenberg and Abbey Alpert of The Flour Pot Cookie Boutique. Who says beauty is only skin deep? In spring and then summer, it’s where you find it—everywhere!

The Publication
The format of Empty Nest makes the editorial the home page (you’re there!), where we put the articles into context for you. As always, you can also reach the Features, Departments, and Editorial via the sidebar menu. And if you hadn’t noticed with the previous issue, our masthead has had a “mini-facelift”!

You can show your support for Empty Nest by clicking the “Donate” button on the sidebar and making a monetary contribution. Think of it as you would shareware. If you read an issue and like what you see, please consider contributing through the secure PayPal website to support our work. Our goals are simple: to recover expenses and to pay our writers.

Finally, remember that you can now do a keyword search in Empty Nest! Just type a topic or author’s name into the search box at the bottom of the sidebar, and you’ll bring up a page with links to relevant articles in the current issue, as well as in the Empty Nest archives. Feel free to e-mail us at with any additional comments or suggestions.

My Spring into Summer
I’m stopping to catch my breath in order to write this. Our family has been having such a busy spring that I find it hard to believe it’s June and we’ve already had 90-degree weather here in Philadelphia. Weren’t we cross-country skiing just a few weeks ago? Well, yes, in fact, we were. In mid-March, we accepted cousin Alyce and her husband Howard’s delightful invitation to do a little cross-country skiing with them in NH—fabulous fun! The Breton Woods Nordic Center is worth revisiting. Later that week, we celebrated St. Patty’s Day at the Washington House Restaurant, in Sellersville, PA, with our friends the Nockamixon Sail Club commodore and his wife, George and Linda Balas. The following weekend found us in NYC, where daughter Sarah played youngest sister Irina in a Queens Players’ production of Three Sisters, by Chekhov. She performed so wonderfully!

The following week, friend Lorraine and I traveled to the West Coast to visit our daughters Trisha and Amie, grade-school friends; we all had lunch together at Bubba Gump’s Shrimp Company in Santa Monica. The Forrest Gump theme was hilarious! Amie, husband Todd, and I then spent a couple of days in Solvang, wine tasting in the Santa Ynez Valley, near Santa Barbara. We also hiked nearby Vasquez Rocks that weekend. While I was away, Gary mentored the Mount St. Joseph Academy robotics team at the FIRST Robotics Washington DC Regional Competition. That week, I gave a talk to Frank Quattrone’s Magazine Publishing class at Rosemont College about launching and managing an online magazine.

We had a breather from travel the beginning of April when Amie came home before a conference in DC. It was great fortune to be able to see her again so soon, and also great that she could bring that extra suitcase of wine I had purchased while in CA but couldn’t manage to get home. The weekend featured turkey dinner at Gary’s mom’s, a must-do when the family gets together, with Sarah and boyfriend Peter joining us. The following weekend was the FIRST Robotics Philadelphia Regional Competition, another of Gary’s big events. I love to attend this one (it’s held at Temple University) and was glad to be there this year to witness The Mount take the Chairman’s Award. April 16th was my brother, Mike’s, 50th birthday, which we celebrated in his favorite venue, Yankee Stadium. Then came Gary and my Easter/Earth Day trip to Denver. But you can learn more about that in this issue. Finally, Gary went off to the FIRST National Robotics Competition in St. Louis, and I took my dear friend Bonnie Boehme (associate editor of Empty Nest, by the way) to NYC to see Rigoletto at The Met in celebration of her graduation from nursing school. Good friend and publishing colleague Carol Field joined us, and my daughter Sarah hosted.

May was a little calmer. However, because the first full weekend included Mother’s Day, the month get off to a pretty exciting start. Amie, who had back-to-back work meetings on the East Coast again, was home with us for the holiday. Sarah added to the festivities by arriving on Friday, and Gary’s mom joined us on Saturday for an overnighter. The girls bought me—and Gary planted—the weeping cherry tree I had been wanting for years. It was wonderful to have the chance to hang out with everyone in our own home for a change.

Gary and I then had a couple of quiet weekends to catch up around the house (and work on this issue!), sail in a Nockamixon Sail Club regatta, and have dinner with friends. But then it was off to Tampa for niece Malinda’s high school graduation! My sister Cathie provided scrumptious meals (and amazing margaritas), and we took in the graduation with great pride in the lovely, intelligent, and talented Malinda. We also enjoyed the beach at Ft. DeSoto and miniature golf (the most ingenious I’ve ever seen) at Smuggler’s Cove, near St. Petersburg. Thanks to Amie’s tip about the online reservation service SniqueAway, we were able to get an incredible deal at the Intercontinental in Tampa, and so Gary and I were able to make a mini-vacation out of the trip.

June brought a bridal shower near home for friend Cyndi’s daughter Becca and a baby shower in Boston for friend Clare’s daughter Emily. What an honor to share in our friends’ celebrations (although getting from one to the other, then back, was definitely a challenge)! The following weekend we celebrated our godson Peter’s graduation from Union College in Albany, NY. Which brings us to Father’s Day, and then looking forward to some “true” summer fun, but we won’t tip you off to what’s ahead . . .

Finally, as always, because of our dedicated contributors, we have a wonderful issue. For more about Empty Nest magazine, visit About Us.


Robin C. Bonner
Editor, Empty Nest

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