A Millennial’s Musings on Leaving the Nest … Again

At 32, I didn’t expect to move into my mom’s basement. I also didn’t expect to miss it so much, now that I’m gone. I wrote about my living situation in October. My boyfriend, Joe, and I were just back from Thailand, where I finished my master’s degree and he taught at a university. With our belongings locked in storage, we — yes, both of us — moved in with my mom while we searched for jobs and found our …

The Best Gift We Can Give Each Other (and It’s Free)

Growing up, we got our Christmas trees from Mr. Munro, the man who owned our house before us. He had studied horticulture in college and taught at a school for years. He owned a tree farm a few hours away from his home, so in his 70s, he decided to sell that home and move to the farm full time. My mom and dad were new to town and in their late 20s — sans kids and dog. Those would come later. …

‘Alzheimer’s Stole Her’: Changing Our Narrative About Dementia

My grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s disease for years. And for years, my family and I would say things like: “Alzheimer’s stole her from us.” “She’s not herself now.” “She’s a shell of who she was.” That’s our cultural narrative about Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia — that it’s the aggressor. It has power over us, we say. It can take away our loved ones right before our eyes. If we’re lucky, we might catch a glimpse of them …

Make Priceless Family Memories on Thanksgiving, StoryCorps-Style

Thanksgiving is approaching and families across the nation will be gathering to eat, maybe watch TV and, I hope, enjoy time together. But one of the most common questions I get this time of year is, “How can I get the generations in our family to interact more?” This year I have a great answer: Participate in StoryCorps’ Great Thanksgiving Listen using its new free app. You may have heard StoryCorps on NPR’s Morning Edition on Fridays—a series of moving …

A Millennial’s Musings on Returning to the Nest

I’m 32 and I live in my mom’s basement. (For now!) Let me explain: I recently completed a master’s degree program, the second year of which was in Thailand. Before I left, I packed two suitcases and a backpack, and locked the rest of my two-bedroom apartment in storage. That’s what I have now at my mom’s — two big bags and a backpack — as I search for a job and plot my next move. Oh, and I should mention …

Green Peace: The Healing Power of Parks for Young and Old

One of my very best friends died three years ago. He happened to be my grandfather, who was 96 years old. He was ready. It was time. But it wasn’t easy. I missed him. It took me months to delete the calendar alert I’d set up to ping me every day at 11:20 a.m., a reminder to stop what I was doing and “Call PO9,” short for Pop Pop. (As a kid, when I was learning to write, I accidentally addressed …