jlsathre

jlsathre
Location
Illinois,
Birthday
July 30
Bio
I'm a lawyer in my past life, who got the kids through college and decided to try something different and a little more fun. A used book store sounded like a good idea, so that's where I am for now. I just hadn't counted on a recession or E-readers and am a little afraid there's going to be a third act. In the meantime, I have plenty to read and a little time to write. Not a bad way to spend a day.

MY RECENT POSTS

Jlsathre's Links

Salon.com
JULY 18, 2014 11:04AM

Write small

When my daughters were struggling to write college application essays, my advice was always the same. "Write small. Write about one small event or one moment in time, not the story of your life or your opinion on some major issue. You'll be surprised how the little moments will explain the big… Read full post »

JUNE 30, 2014 9:53AM

The Empty House

The two little girls walked out of the house and into the car crying. Loud sobs that I heard from a back deck across the street, two houses down.

They were leaving their empty house for both the first and last time. Toys gone, closets empty, walls bare. No bikes in the drivew… Read full post »

10. "My kids are perfect."

9. "My kids are near perfect."

8. "Extra butter please." (Actually, I say this pretty often. I always wanted to say it without guilt though.)

7. "They fixed it right the first time!"

6. "I want to thank the Academy, the entire cast, and my date, Robert… Read full post »

JUNE 15, 2014 12:32PM

Dad Taught Me Well

My girls and I had just moved into a new house and I was in the back yard building a sandbox. Our neighbor, a father of six, walked over to see if I needed help.

"I think I've got it," I said, as I dragged the last 2 by 12 into place.

He watched as… Read full post »

JUNE 11, 2014 10:49AM

Grandma Needs a Lock On Her Door

My sister called the other night. She thought I might have some advice to pass on to a friend who's moving in with her son and daughter-in-law to be the live-in nanny for her new grandchild. 

"So, this is what it's come to," I thought. No more requests for book… Read full post »

JUNE 4, 2014 12:22PM

Run, Baby, Run

"Serious runners should move to the front," the man with the bullhorn announced.

No one moved.

Apparently, a 3K with no entry fee, no sign up, no time clock, and no numbers on runners' chests is not the most serious of races.

My grandson and I waited for the gun, watched his mom… Read full post »

After my parents died, my sister and I got out the letters that Dad had written to Mom while he was in Burma during World War II. They had never met at the time they started writing, but wrote back and forth for the last two years of the war. When it… Read full post »

MAY 22, 2014 10:21AM

The Origin Of Selfies

 A long time ago, in a generation far, far away...

Land lines ruled and princess phones with extention lines were the height of coolness. The internet was not even a spark in Al Gore's imagination and Kodak could envision nothing more futuristic than … Read full post »

I was in a store the other day when someone asked me what size I was.

It's a question with no easy answer.

I think of myself as a "4." But that's mainly because I'm an optimistic sort. I also think that someday I'll actually find an age appropriate dress at H & M… Read full post »

MAY 11, 2014 8:16AM

The Mom Who Loved Gold--A Repost

The day after our mom died, my sister and I sat at my kitchen table trying to write a eulogy for her funeral. We had written one for Dad 16 months earlier, but Mom's was proving difficult.

My sister rejected every one of my suggestions. I rejected every one of hers.… Read full post »

MAY 6, 2014 11:52AM

Living In the Big House

His house was smack in the middle of the seven blocks that took us to the local swimming pool. A trek we made nearly every day in the summer. Sometimes twice--coming home from swim team practice in the morning and going back after eating a quick lunch to spend the rest of the… Read full post »

APRIL 30, 2014 1:17PM

Walter's Making Noodles Friday Night

              "If you lived in a small town, you might know 50 folks."

I wrote down that sentence when I read it in a blog post a while back because it made me laugh. 

The truth is, if you live in a small town, you know nearly… Read full post »

APRIL 22, 2014 11:21AM

Facebook Updates

I need to be more pro-active on Facebook. This stalking of pictures and the occasional "Happy Birthday" to and from friends I've never had a single conversation with makes me think I'm not getting everything out of Facebook that I could. To turn things around, I decided to post an… Read full post »

APRIL 16, 2014 12:01PM

The Best Advice Mom Ever Gave

"You're defined by your courage; you're redeemed by your loyalty." These were Joe Biden's words in a speech he gave yesterday. He was quoting advice that his sweet Irish mom gave him years ago.  

I hate it when somebody does that. It always reminds me that I sent my kids… Read full post »

APRIL 4, 2014 11:00AM

March Madness

There are things I remember about March Madness. 

2005. My Alma Mater entering the tournament as the overall top seed. Losing in the final game to North Carolina, 75-70. Two nieces there to see it.

1979. Indiana State, a school 15 miles from my hometown. Occassionally with hometown players on th… Read full post »

MARCH 31, 2014 10:12AM

A Glass Half Full

                                 256px-Glass-of-water
                                    
"Is the glass half full or half empty?" th… Read full post »
MARCH 28, 2014 10:17AM

Things I Googled On a Random Day

Actually, the day wasn't random. It was yesterday. But the things that I discovered I absolutely needed to know in the course of the day were fairly random. Google to the rescue.

Q. Do Jehovah Witnesses still go door-to-door?

A. This might seem like a strange question to ask, but I… Read full post »

"Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite." The words I told my girls whenever they had a writing project in school. Something I rarely do myself with that "Publish" button staring me in the face telling me I could be done. It's the nature of blogging, I guess. To  write quickly and get it outRead full post »

MARCH 12, 2014 3:37PM

Too Much

My daughter spent the other evening teaching her toddler son Spanish. With an upcoming move to Mexico and a Mickey Mouse TV show where Mickey speaks Spanish, he's totally behind the idea of learning more than the "hola" and "adios amigo" that he already knows.
 
Word by word, he listed… Read full post »

First, get over the shock. Because, yes, it really has been 45 years. No need to start every conversation with that question. You've had eight reunions to come up with something better. And, no, "What are you up to these days?" isn't better. No one much likes the word "up" these… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2014 10:27AM

Forgettable Me and Hillary

I've seen him before. An older man dropping off two toddlers at the same daycare where I drop off my grandson. Some times we chat in the parking lot.

"Did you go to Yale?" he asks today, pointing to the decal on my back window.

"Not me, my daughter," I say.… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2014 3:39PM

Riding the Metro at 5:00 A.M.

As a fairly recent transplant to the D.C. metropolitan area, I'm one of those nervous Metro riders who hold on tight to both their Metro card and a foldup Metro map. My other hand in my pocket, counting off on my fingers how many stops before my transfer and exit. Having… Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2014 12:00PM

School Closings

Snow and freezing temperatures mean school closings. Which is something I haven't concerned myself with for years. I don't have kids in school. 

A year ago, it might have meant a few more kids coming into the bookstore to warm up and get free gum. But I d… Read full post »

JANUARY 20, 2014 9:24AM

I Have a Dream

Photo: Preschool history lesson as remembered by my two year old:

 

A preschool history lesson as remembered by my two year old grandson:

"This is old man king. He was a nice king. He said all colors are important. So I gave him purple and blue and orange."

May we all view life through the eyes of two year olds. … Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2014 1:49PM

Happy Birthday, Dad

"Your dad was the nicest man I ever met."

"..the smartest man..."

"He always had a friendly word..."

It's been 12 years.  What I remember most is him sitting in his chair.

It was replaced a few times over the years. And it was moved from corner to corner on occasion. But there was… Read full post »