Many people thought my Aunt Agnes was a professional malcontent. I thought she was an adventurer.
When I was growing up, I watched her reinvent herself every few years. She was trained as a teacher, but I don’t remember her working at that. Nevertheless, she always seemed to be instructing me and my siblings about right and wrong.
Besides being the family morality enforcer, she spent several years running a college bookstore where she became friends with both students and professors. She also took advantage of the academic surroundings and studied Spanish and other subjects that caught her fancy.
After she left […] Continue Reading…
We’re on birth alert around here right now. No, I am not expecting another grandchild. The arriving baby belongs to my doula daughter’s client.
I had never heard of birthing doulas until a few years ago when a student in one of my Sacramento seminars told me that she was one.
According to Wikipedia, this is an ancient profession that originated in Greece. A doula is a nonmedical person who assists before, during and after childbirth. The continuous support during labor is associated with improved maternal and fetal health.
How Jennie became a doula still intrigues me.
One morning about seven years ago, she […] Continue Reading…
Every truly wise person knows that learning is a lifelong endeavor. It appears that we are, in fact, created to keep learning. It’s an obvious condition that is grossly overlooked by employers who do nothing to encourage their workers to learn.
The entrepreneur, on the other hand, can be in a constant state of learning. That’s what attracted me to my own business in the first place.
Most of us who have heard the Eastern proverb that says, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” think it refers to an individual who comes to guide us.
I’d like to suggest […] Continue Reading…
This week I made my first visit to the Genius Bar at my neighborhood Apple Store. Like the previous ones I’d hung out at in Minneapolis and Las Vegas, this one is staffed with folks who are smart and eager to help.
Even though my appointment was at 10 AM, their opening time, the place was buzzing by the time I arrived. About a dozen kids were clustered around a table dressed in the same t-shirts with the Apple logo that the store employees wear. They were participants in one of the summer programs Apple runs in their stores.
I still […] Continue Reading…
Five years ago today, my phone in Las Vegas rang about 8:30 in the morning. It was my daughter Jennie who didn’t usually call so early in the morning. I asked if she was planning to give birth later in the day. “He’s already here,” she said.
I jumped in my car, drove to Valencia, connected with my sister Margaret and Zoe and we headed to the birth center at UCLA where I met the newest member of our family. I had no idea what adventures were on their way.
In just a few short years, I have a memory bank […] Continue Reading…
For me, meeting interesting people, however briefly, is one of the great rewards of travel. On my last evening in Los Angeles several years ago, my daughter suggested that we have dinner at The Milky Way.
This tiny restaurant is lovingly run by Leah Adler, a little pixie who just happens to have given birth to Steven Spielberg. Her utter joy in making her customers happy is obvious as she flits from table to table chatting with everyone.
She seemed to be having such a good time that I thought being a restauranteur must be a new occupation for her. When […] Continue Reading…
After spending ten days with my siblings in Lucca, Italy, I planned to take the train back to Venice, have a bonus afternoon in my favorite city, then fly home the next day. That plan began to unravel when I went to buy my train ticket and discovered a 24-hour strike was scheduled for exactly the time I wanted to travel.
I made numerous telephone calls to find an alternative option, but was assured that some trains would still be running. What I wasn’t told was that I’d be making a five hour sidetrip to Bologna. That little surprise didn’t […] Continue Reading…
Not long ago, I sent myself a card that caught my eye at Trader Joe’s. “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” it challenged.
While there are many ways to measure success, one of the best is adding up the number of Firsts in your life. When we’re children, everything is a first. As time goes on, many people simply cease doing anything that is not a repeat of a past performance.
It’s the path to early senility.
How can you experience a life filled with Firsts? How can you find yourself exclaiming, “I’ve never done that […] Continue Reading…
I make no secret of the fact that I’m in the midst of a love affair with Venice. It almost didn’t happen.
My first visit was decades ago when I participated in a whirlwind tour of Europe. We zipped through Venice, were escorted to a glass factory store specializing in selling over priced goods to tourists and whisked away.
I was not impressed.
It wasn’t until 1999, on a short stay with my daughter, that I began to uncover the charms of Venice. Suddenly I understood why artists, poets, writers and musicians kept returning for fresh inspiration.
In its’ heyday, it was a […] Continue Reading…