On Being Relevant After Retirement

Nancy M. GarberI’d submitted my retirement papers and was attending my last conference when a younger colleague confided, “My biggest fear about retiring someday is no longer being relevant.” He’d made no secret of his envy (his exact words were, “You know I hate you now”). He's since taken a job outside the field of higher education, where we worked together for more than a decade, but his observation sparked questions about my own relevance outside the daily workforce. In fact, it has haunted me for years....more

Red Wasps Take No Prisoners, Nor Do I

I was stung by a red wasp last night. My thumb is slowly returning to its normal size and color. It almost embarrasses me to admit that I forgot to look before removing my shoes from the window where they were left to dry. There’s a long window that stretches across the top of our laundry room where sunlight creates nature’s perfect clothes dryer. The shoes were backlit and appeared as silhouettes. We won’t mention that I left my thinking cap in the other room; it’s not the first time I’ve been stung because I failed to look where I was reaching and walking....more

Books Will Survive...Again

True confession: in the debate over print books and electronic readers, I am as wishy-washy as an Oklahoma snowstorm. Head south instead of north? Turn to rain or sleet? Punctuate the skies with thunder snow?...more

I Do Not Miss You, Breaking Bad

For days after the final episode of Breaking Bad aired, I wondered if Sunday night would ever be the same again. In America, we have a precedent for this kind of withdrawal. Those who remember Bonanza, The Wonderful World of Color, and The Ed Sullivan Show – Sunday evening standards of my youth – know what I’m talking about....more

I'll Skip the Resolutions, Thanks

 I used to envy people who made New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve come to accept that’s simply not me. Linking personal improvement to changing calendars no more insures I’ll stick to the plan than a false deadline would (think fiscal cliff). My best chances for follow-through come when motivation is strong. Case in point: it’s the first weekend in January and my plans to begin a blog on New Year’s Day are now underway. Had it been a resolution, I’d already be falling behind....more

It's After Labor Day. Are You Wearing White?

I’m anything but a fashionista. My closet is lined with seasons past, off the rack. But like any good Southern girl, I was brought up with a healthy respect for the number one fashion rule: wear no white after Labor Day....more
The only rule I follow is not to wear white shoes after labor day but that is more of a personal ...more

Flood to Drought: One Extreme to Another

The rain came to our house last night, a minor setback for the drought to end all droughts. While this one isn’t over yet, heavy rain and wind, followed by steady, ground-soaking precipitation the likes of which we’ve not seen in months, restored hope that better weather lies ahead, as my husband optimistically observed....more

Turn Over A New Leaf

The outdoor farmer’s market in our hometown has officially opened for the season. Last fall, I pledged to turn over a new leaf this year and buy our vegetables and plants, along with soaps and other organic products, from local farmers whenever possible.  The time has come to make good on that promise. ...more