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Children's books on display at a library.
Kalamazoo Public Library / Creative Commons / flickr.com/photos/kalamazoopubliclibrary

A couple of months ago, I decided that I would take my five-year-old daughter with me to the local Women’s March. Since my explanations were not as clear as I wanted, I searched for a children’s book to help me explain the 2016 Women’s March to her. 

Breakfast at a Parisian cafe
Lian Chang / Flikr https://www.flickr.com/photos/diametrik/2628099742

What better way to escape winter in New England than to experience winter in Paris? Last month, I spent a week in the city of light -- well in January, make that "twilight."

Samuel Bowles was a dynamo, known for his wit, intelligence, and dashing good looks.
unknown / Bowles-Hoar Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections,Amherst College

Samuel Bowles was the editor of The Springfield Republican. As a young man in the 1850s, he transformed the Republican into one of New England’s most admired newspapers.

In the woods.
Pxhere / Creative Commons

"You should have a cell phone," my mother-in-law says.

In 2003, Greenfield, Massachusetts, adopted a mayoral form of government, technically changing from town to city, according to state regulations. But Greenfield kept calling itself a town for 14 more years.
Andrew Varnon / NEPR

In official state documents, we used to be referred to as “The City known as the Town of Greenfield.” Kind of embarrassing.

This Cat Lover's Claws Are Out

Jan 17, 2018
A cat.
Krysten Merriman / Creative Commons

An open letter to Robert Chipkin, researchers at Vanderbilt University, and all dog triumphalists, ever, for the end of time: Your dog may be smarter than my cat. This is not a great feat. My cat’s brain is about the size of a walnut.  

Coming In From The Cold In Springfield

Jan 16, 2018
Springfield's Paramount Theater.
Ray Kelly / The Republican / masslive.com/photos

If you've ever experienced the transition from a frigid wind beating on your face to the embrace of a warm indoor space, you'll know how wonderful coming inside can be. 

A golden retriever.
Jonathan Meyer / Creative Commons

Lately, I’ve noticed a growing cottage industry. Human scientists are making a pretty good living spending years doing experiments the results of which any dog could have predicted if only someone had asked.

I often talk about how books are windows and mirrors. They show readers things they’ve never seen before, as well as reflections of themselves.

An Inherited, And Now Embraced, Christmas Tradition

Dec 19, 2017
Julia Cafritz's mother had strong feelings about where Glitter Santa needed to be placed on their Christmas tree.
Julia Cafritz / Courtesy of Julia Cafritz

At my house, Christmas trees didn't exist to be decorated; they existed to be conquered.

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