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Marion Franck

Difficult choices loom in closing down my dad’s home

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the day off. She has revised this column slightly since it first ran in February 2006. In my father’s apartment in New York City, his watch still tells time. His freezer bulges with three half-gallons of ice cream, and they don’t even have icicles yet. In the refrigerator, the […]

July 08, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

What do families really want from their summer vacations?

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the week off. This column has been slightly revised since it first appeared in 1999. On the seventh day of our vacation in Alaska, a TV newsman announced that the local golf course had been closed. It seems that a bear killed a moose on the course. (I suppose […]

July 01, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

People are waiting in long lines — for what?

A couple of weeks ago, my husband was surprised by something in downtown San Francisco. While walking to work, he saw about 30 people in the 900 block of Market Street waiting in line. He assumed they were homeless people, lining up for a meal. But when he encountered them again the next morning, still […]

June 24, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

New best friend will require some adjustments

I apologize for a graphic opening, but I learned something important last Saturday when I put a plastic bag around my hand, bent down, and scooped up dog poop — fresh from the dog — for the very first time. It’s warm. I almost fell over with surprise, and it wasn’t happy surprise. I choked. […]

June 17, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

A child’s big question: What’s it like being you?

My friend Marsha and I were having one of those conversations about the cute things our kids said, conversations that continue long after the children are buying their own life insurance, getting their name on the office door, and having babies of their own. Marsha’s favorite question from her son came when he was 6 […]

June 10, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Summer vacation pushes me to notice changes

In summer, many of us return to where we “always” go. Family tradition propels us there, or affordability or love of a particular place. Some of us simply like to go somewhere familiar. I return to favorite places for all of those reasons, but I find that when I get there I think not about […]

June 03, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

When you turn 65, you get a big chunk of homework

A friend asked me what it was like to turn 65. “It’s such a big date in our culture,” she said. She was giving me a chance to express sadness about aging, but I hadn’t had time to feel sad; I was too busy signing up for Medicare. If that sounds like an exaggeration, you […]

May 27, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

On the search for elusive treasure

Morning, the cool time of day, is definitely when I should go. I’m excited, but I dress carefully first. I pull on my long-sleeved buzz-off shirt, treated to repel insects, lightweight buzz-off pants and buzz-off socks that are thick and uncomfortable but feel essential. I’ve heard this is a big year for ticks. Because I’m […]

May 20, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

An empty auditorium made for a full graduation

* Editor’s note: Marion is taking the week off. This column first ran in 2007. The most important moment of my son’s college graduation took place at a concert where the master of ceremonies, some of the performers, and most of the audience didn’t show up. The setting was his small, liberal arts college in […]

May 13, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Look up in the sky, look down the land

When something new and important happens, I am often dismayed by how slowly I catch on. The best example I can give you is 9/11, which I witnessed on TV in real time. I knew something horrifying had happened and I grieved the loss of life. But it took quite a while before I understood […]

May 06, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

It takes all the senses to get the full impression

You learn a lot about your travels after you get home. Friends ask questions and, in answering, you discover what was important from your trip. This happened to me after my husband and I returned from our cruise in the eastern Mediterranean. Today I narrow down my experiences to one sight, one sound and one […]

April 29, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Traveling from boat to boat to see the world

In the world of cruising, there are normal passengers and there are superstars. The superstars are people who have taken many cruises with the same company. They get perks and recognition. They puzzle and amaze me. Shortly after my husband and I boarded a 300-passenger cruise ship, the Silver Wind, the cruise director enthusiastically announced […]

April 22, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Should the Greeks take their marbles home?

I just returned from a part of the world where wars abound, and I find I want to join one, a cultural war. This all began when my husband got the travel bug and suggested a cruise in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas. Before you could say “global hot spot” we signed up for […]

April 15, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,

Mix, stir and repeat

What are the ingredients of a good day? This is the question I asked myself last night when I realized I’d had a good day, the kind of day when life feels rich, but couldn’t say why. I am lucky to enjoy many good days, but most of the ones I immediately label as “good” […]

April 08, 2012 | Posted in Columns | Tagged ,
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