The clearing

Every now and then weeding can be gratifying, like cleaning out a closet or clearing a desktop, akin to finding order amid chaos.  I suspected that my first dive back into my new garden plot might be like that; after all, I’d have to transform what had become a jungle-in-the-making into framed rows of clean dirt. I needed a bold game plan.

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Meeting my match

 I had all things Floret Farm on my mind when I set out to find the landing for my gardening comeback. I started thinking about joining a community garden – a commitment that would test my professed love of planting and sowing beyond the footprint of my own living space. I explored neighborhoods and asked questions and learned, above all, that there was a shortage of available space but no lack of gardeners-in-waiting. I missed out on openings that first growing season and started to suspect the same result this year. Then I got the call.

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Finding a way back

I kept up a garden of some sort at each of our several houses while the kids were still around. More than fifteen seasons of abundance. Over time though I grew weary of the constant weeding and the passing off of bountiful harvests of zucchinis, tomatoes and the like to friends, neighbors and colleagues, to the point when gardening became a chore. It was time for the white flag.

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The long walk home

Over the years the dogs had taught me so much. How a walk can show us the world. How sometimes just showing up is all that matters, and sitting quietly by can give the best comfort. How a simple smile could change a day, and a life. And how messy a life could really be. Now Wojo was giving me one last lesson: how to let go.

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Kid needs a job

Let’s face it. Summer break is no picnic for families, especially when both parents work.

Gone are the days when that last week of school ushers in some water-colored daydream, replaced instead with dread as wide-open days filled with idle children beckon.

Now parents need a spreadsheet to plot out activities and a line of credit to ensure that the kids don’t slide down a slippery slothful slope towards delinquency.

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End of the innocence

More guns in schools, even if in the hands of the good guys, will only lead to otherwise avoidable accidents and injuries and do little to confront a mass shooter. Metal detectors may pick up a knife or a handgun, but do little to stop a gunman intent on blasting away at the entrance. 

And active shooter drills? What are we doing to preschoolers when we’re hushing them quiet while pretending a murderer is on the loose? Or reminding students huddled under desks to keep their scissors open, so they can stab better?

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The waiting is the hardest part

I have a problem with lines - the waiting part, specifically. You'd think that after being on this planet for more than a half-century I'd be over it. But a trip to the grocery store the other day reminded me that I still had a long way to go to line acceptance.

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Sharon McCloskeyLife, All
With honor

Not many folks enter courthouses happily – except perhaps for a marriage or an adoption. But today my family gets to do just that as we gather to witness and celebrate the public swearing-in of my brother, Tom McCloskey, as a judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

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