Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

During a recent conversation with my kids, I encouraged them to reach for challenges, even for things that seem unattainable. I shared with them one of my favorite quotes, from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Hitch your wagon to a star.” Sometimes you won’t reach your star, I said,

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On Loving, and Losing

My family and I lost two friends recently. For the sake of protecting their identities, I’ll call them Cheryl and Paul. They died rather young—Cheryl after a drawn-out battle with cancer, and Paul went suddenly, his heart failing while he slept. Both losses spurred stinging tears and

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Retroactive Grief

Over the past few weeks I’ve watched friends stride through different rites of passage. Some sent their child to away-camp for the first time. Others released their youngest into the realm of college. I’ve not reached either pinnacle yet. But I recognize them to be fraught with

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Strasbourg Cathedral de Notre-Dame

Strasbourg straddles the border between France and Germany. I spent a long weekend there with my husband, in 2007. He lived there from the time he was 8 until his family up and moved to the States, when he was in high school. My favorite part of

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The Marvel of Mont Saint-Michel

Ahead of daylight on a chilly October morning, we stirred, shuffled into a boulangerie for a petit déjeuner, and caught a tour bus from Paris to Normandy. I slumbered on the several-hour journey. When I woke, this was my view: A dream on a hill–otherwise called Mont-Saint

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Streetside, Paris

The most famous places in Paris–like Le Tour Eiffel and the Arc De Triomphe–are stunning. On any given street, there’s a line of uncommon beauty, too. Symmetrical bliss in design and layout. An eye-catcher in the distance. The city bears the scent of perfume, Vespa fumes and

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A Month in France

I miss France. I’ve never lived there, I can barely scrape together enough French for a sensible sentence—let alone match the language’s dreamy lilt. I’ve only passed through on trips, mostly for pleasure, and once on the tail-end of a business trip. Not nearly as put-together as

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