Facebook Hazardous to Parents’ Health
I figured when my kids were grown that I would be a much calmer, less manic, gentler, non-anxious woman. Out of sight, out of mind and all that. Plus, I thought they might possibly become more self-sustaining, wise, and educated—perhaps even mature. I took every opportunity to cram copious amounts of wisdom into them by the time they approached their early 20s. My job was somewhat—at least the challenging, hands-on part—accomplished. Then along came Facebook . . .

The Vapor Menace
I’m surprised that the green guardians of the universe have not wised up to the most dangerous pollutant of all. This deadly threat to our well-being is (are you ready?) caused by the fitness industry and the millions of exercise nuts who support it. While fitness industry tycoons are working overtime trying to persuade everyone to shape up, no one is sounding the alarm that these same business owners are pushing a product every bit as dangerous to our health as secondhand smoke, chocolate chip cookies, and trans-fats. Lethium vaporium is the scientific name for the perspiration that’s being spread far and wide by exercise freaks who succumb to their addiction without any concern for the health of their fellow citizens . . .

A Nuts-and-Bolts Kind of Valentine’s Day
Climbing into the car, Gary handed me the pink-paper-wrapped pot. In an attempt to steal him away from his obsession for an hour, I was picking him up for dinner at a local burger joint. I’d driven 45 minutes to make sure he ate a meal comprising something other than party mix and animal crackers. “They’re calla lilies,” he said, of the pot. “Wow, nice!” I exclaimed sincerely, agreeing, and impressed that with Valentine’s Day still two days off, Gary obviously had already been thinking about it. And, I had a soft spot for calla lilies, especially pink ones. These looked just like the ones in our daughter Amie’s wedding bouquet. “Got them in Lowe’s,” he explained. That made sense; otherwise, he probably wouldn’t be in possession of them . . .

I Have a Friend
I have a friend, and her name is Bertha. I met Bertha in December 2009 at a seniors’ residence center in Schwenksville, PA. I had organized a holiday sing-a-long there for the day after Christmas. . . . After we were done singing, we served everyone the punch and Christmas cookies we had brought along. When asked, I said, yeah, it’s all homemade—between “Mrs. Landis” (a local supermarket) and me, we baked everything! Then, the musicians mingled with the folks attending. It was then that I saw Bertha.

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Empty Nest: A Magazine for Mature Families

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