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Category Archive for 'Chicagoland'

One breezy Chicago summer, my brother and I built a treehouse. Isn’t that nice? But before my mother objects, let’s rephrase: one sweaty Chicago summer, my brother and I nearly killed each other nailing two boards into a tree. We pounded rows of crooked nails into little boards for steps, and as high as we [...]

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Moments after finishing my first pot of caramel sauce – first melted sugar, first caramel anything – I pulled up an apron corner, wrapped the burning handle and carried it down twenty-seven steps, past an audience of snickering older students, past my teachers, not breathing until the pot finally reached the hands of a famous [...]

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{ A Mother’s Day tale } In 1978 just three types of contraband existed for me and my pal Andie Lerner: shoplifted Bonne Bell makeup, those curious magazines in our brothers’ rooms, and Judy Blume’s teen sex novel, Forever. But I was a fearful eleven-year-old who declined the five-finger discount – and despite many examinations [...]

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Delicious Sisters

I would like more sisters, that the taking out of one, might not leave such stillness. Emily Dickinson After more than a year’s worth of Simmer, I’ve concluded that blogging is much like phoning your family. Some days an outburst and others, just “Everything okay? Bye.” For example, I was going to tell you about [...]

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A Deep-Seated Need

We saw a movie years ago in which a housekeeper, played by Helen Mirren, dryly notes that she has the “gift of anticipation.” She knows what people need – or will need – long before they do and is attuned to the next requirement, be it refills or discretion. As she resigned herself onscreen, I [...]

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