[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Problem with Universal Self-Esteem Boosts

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It has become a cultural cliché, how our children are bombarded with efforts to raise their self-esteem by, for example, giving every kid on the team a trophy. The problem, of course, is that not every kid is a great tee-ball or basketball or whatever player (I can attest to this from experience as a [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Still Point

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We live in a heavily wooded neighborhood with an unfortunate preponderance of oak trees. Oaks are one of the last trees to lose their leaves, which generally turn brown rather than the spectacular golds and reds of other species. This means that we often end up with piles of brown leaves buried under the winter’s [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Just Look Up

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This is a photo of nothing more than the blue sky over my daughter’s middle school. I took the photo as I sat waiting to pick her up yesterday. Just before I took it, I looked up to see a huge hawk drifting on the currents right smack in the middle of that patch of [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] What My Kids and My Garden Have in Common

I don't have to say "Don't pick the daisies!" because no one in their right mind would want these daisies.

I struggled to find a good photo subject for today’s post. Right now, most of my garden is ugly—dried up stalks, yellowing leaves. The brilliant oranges and yellows of fall foliage are still a few weeks away. My garden’s most prominent feature right now are dry, dusty brown remnants of summer blooms. All living things [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] I Wrote a Book. Want One?

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I will confess something that will be not at all surprising to most of you, especially those who write blogs of your own: My Friday “Snapshots from Oak Ridge” feature is absolutely self-serving. I wanted some regular Friday feature that would be quick and easy, because posting regularly, even if every post isn’t read by [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Summer and Fall in Tandem

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I walked outside after my book group meeting last night around 10:30, and the air not only felt like fall, it smelled like fall—the mild tang of leaf mold, a hint of smoke. We still have summer-like days ahead of us, no doubt, but fall is creeping in—including in my garden. Here, a bee gets busy [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The kids went back to school on Wednesday, all smiles and energy. (The teenager left too early to be photographed, and wouldn’t have wanted to be anyway.) We had a truly terrific summer—summer camp, the 4H Fair, swim lessons, a final camping trip last weekend. And now we’re all ready to plunge back into the [Read More...]

[Snapshots from Oak Ridge] Married 16 Years Today

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We fill our walls here on Oak Ridge Lane not with fine art (we have neither the money nor the passion for collecting), but with things that speak to the life we have built together—posters bought on trips to Italy and California; a limited edition print of the Washington National Cathedral (I lived in the [Read More...]


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