skip to main content


The faces of Haiti's nightmare stay in the soul and the heart. Our minds can't take it in. We send money, we want to do more, we want the suffering to stop, we want the world to be an easier place — dear God, we want you to help them!  What can we do?  Amid… Read more »

There's a bakery I pass occasionally with a sign in the window that reads: YOU KNOW YOU WANT ONE. As marketing approaches go, it's brilliant because, of course, I do want one — actually, I want two or three. And the recognition of this makes me want one even more. So I stand across the street and have… Read more »

It was the last day of a three day writing conference. I had time for one last, quick question. A shy boy in the back raised his hand: "Mrs. Bauer, looking back over your entire life, do you have any regrets?" Whoa! How do I answer that out of the hundreds, thousands of regrets I'd piled… Read more »

Everyone is trying to save money in this economy. So I made a big, bold statement — I am not going to buy anything I don't absolutely need. And I meant that. Then I went to this store — one of those large stores that are painted blue and yellow — and I saw this… Read more »

I don't have a to do list for the new year, I have a want to list.  For 2010 I want to learn to make things new.  I want a freshness in this year that I've not had for a while.  I want to look at old things in new ways.  I want to believe… Read more »

Put down your load.  If it's anything like mine, It's all the gifts you need to buy, all the cards you should have written,   all the cookies you've consumed, all the things you meant to do.   Put them down.  It's okay.   Come closer to Christmas. Put down your guilt about not being… Read more »

Philadelphia. Spring, 2007. I stood in the bath center of a large department store — I don't remember which one. I'd been given an important shopping task. My mission was to buy a shower curtain and towels for my father-in-law's new bathroom. This might not sound like a big deal, but you have to understand,… Read more »

My dog Max is terrified of garbage trucks. No matter what I do — talk soothingly, give him his favorite treats, put him in another room of the house — he acts as though the Evil Death Star has come to suck him into its atmosphere.   I got a book about calming dogs' fears, and… Read more »

When I was in school, I wrote all the time — short stories, essays, poetry, songs, greeting cards. I had a few poems published in my high school literary journal. I was on fire with the love of writing. Over the years, sometimes that fire has gone out. It's usually when I'm too busy or… Read more »

I imagine in my mind a play that asks two questions: The first, Where were you on September 11, 2001? And from every part of the theater, people young and old answer. I was in school. I was just getting out of the shower. I was landing at O'Hare. I was going to work. I… Read more »

I remember a walk I took when my family and I lived in Connecticut. I had a great deal on my mind that day and I was trying to think through what seemed like a hundred things on that walk, and being a multi-tasker, I was also determined to do this while achieving a full… Read more »

My daughter Jean called the other day and said, "Mom, I have a metaphor for you." Instantly, my writer's heart was stirred because Jean doesn't mess around when it comes to a metaphor. She and her husband had just been to an exhibition of Japanese ceramics in D.C. where she learned of the "golden seams,"… Read more »

I was walking through the playground near my house when it beckoned to me. The swing, that is. I was never a climbing across monkey bars kind of kid, but a swing was one of life's great inventions. I looked around — I was alone. I walked to the swing, plopped down and pushed off,… Read more »

A few birds are singing in my yard and I'm thinking, easy for you to chirp away — have you seen the headlines? My yard is covered with snow from our big storm. I've got work to do to get ready for spring and I don't much feel like it. I had big dreams for… Read more »

Max my dog is licking my hand like it's a popsicle, particularly interested in my engagement ring — it belonged to my husband's grandmother. I had to take the ring off when I had neurosurgery over twenty years ago after a man in a Volvo station wagon rammed into my car, injuring my neck and… Read more »

I have a complicated relationship with Valentine's Day (see my novel, Thwonk). But it's time to celebrate chocolate without boundaries, to run to the store at the last minute and realize that only the bad cards are left, the ones that read, To my husband and forever friend/I pledge my love to never end/but grow… Read more »

We all want good MPG (miles per gallon) for our cars; increased RAM (random access memory) for our computers; we want to lower our LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise our HDL (good cholesterol). We know it's good to achieve MHR (maximum heart rate) when exercising, but not for too long and so we look to… Read more »

It's snowing here and I love the snow. I love to ice skate, love to wear big sweaters and boots and eat hearty stews and build fires. When I was little I always felt that snow signaled a fresh start because it changed the way everything looked and took boring, gray streets and made them… Read more »

There are things I need to stop in 2009. Management consultant, Peter Drucker, always asked top CEOs this disarming question:  What have you stopped doing?  He said when we figure out what no longer works, it opens the door to new opportunities.  One of the first things I need to stop doing is ignoring the… Read more »

It had seemed like a good idea. It was New Year's Eve and I was walking behind my husband, sister, and brother-in-law in a very dark forest in New Zealand. They had flashlights, I didn't. It was close to midnight. I was tripping a little because I couldn't see the ground. The deeper we got into… Read more »