He was a dad, spreading cheer and trying to help his family.

Photo by Neel Patel on Unsplash

I heard him before I saw him. He was standing in the parking lot of the supermarket and playing his guitar to the small crowd who had stopped to listen to him. His hand drawn sign asking for help said he had two children, hadn’t worked since covid and couldn’t pay his rent.

After listening for a few minutes, I added my donation to his bag that was slowly filling with dollars and gift cards. He made eye contact, smiled and said thank you to each person who stopped to listen.

I went into the supermarket to do my weekly…


Eavesdropping on other people’s lives: Part 3

Photo by William Recinos on Unsplash

I stole away on a beautiful Wednesday in September. I drove up to one of my favorite beaches to enjoy what was probably going to be the last perfect day of the season.

I had come ready to spend the day. I settled into my chair with my journal and a book in my bag. The sun felt warm on my face and I got ready for one of my favorite pastimes… eavesdropping.

Usually, the beach was a perfect place to get lost in other people’s conversations. Children pushing their parents’ buttons, parents desperate for their children to entertain themselves…


We inherit the traditions, but we make our own meaning

Photo by Igal Ness on Unsplash

I’ve had a confusing relationship with religion for a long time now. I’m not sure what I believe or believe in anymore. Frankly, I’m not sure I ever believed. But I always got something out of the practice, the rituals.

The smell of a brisket cooking could tell me more about the time of year, the holiday being observed, than a calendar ever could. I got pleasure out of arranging my week to fit in making the chicken soup and kugel.

As a child, the high holidays meant my grandparents would be coming. Two more people crammed in to our…


but I only figured that out recently….

Photo by Repent of Your Sins & Seek Lord Jesus on Unsplash

When my mother was my age, she was a grandmother. I, however, am many years away from becoming a grandmother.

And in my mind, I’m still very young. In fact, when I dream, I see myself as looking the way I did when I was in my twenties.

Yet, ten things have happened to me over the last few weeks that make it impossible for me to deny that I am not 29 anymore…..

1.Two of my nephews became homeowners last month. I held them when they were little babies. I still send them checks on their birthdays- because isn’t…


If found, no need to return…..

photo by author

Recently, dog poop, specifically dog poop not cleaned up by human owners, has become a hot topic in my neighborhood. Angry neighbors are posting pictures of piles left on and near the sidewalks, demanding to know whose dog left an unwelcome present behind.

(I get it is unpleasant, truly I do, but I’m often amazed at how much free time other people have to spend on things like this.)

The other day, when I was out with my dog, Diego, I ran into one such neighbor. I made sure she saw the pink plastic bag I was carrying. I deliberately…


Or in other words, “It Would Have Been Enough”

Photo by Suzi Kim on Unsplash

My emotions can’t handle all that they were put through this weekend. They were up, down and flipped sideways.

Dayenu is a Hebrew word that loosely means “it would have been enough”.

This weekend felt like my own personal “dayenu”. Any one of these heart tugging events I experienced would have been enough. But all of them together…it was just too much.

On Friday, I got my daughter settled in for her senior year of college and her final student teaching experience. How is that even possible? …


Eavesdropping on other people’s lives … Part 2

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

My son and I witnessed the ultimate Manny moment the other day.

“Manny moment” is a phrase my family uses to describe particularly bad behavior on the part of a customer, inflicted on the customer service provider. “Why?” you might be wondering. We coined the phrase after watching someone go off on an employee who was wearing a name tag that said “Manny.”

It was such over-the-top behavior and we’ve used this phrase ever since — sometimes as a label and sometimes as a warning. …


Eavesdropping on other people’s lives … Part 1

Photo by Filip Bunkens on Unsplash

I should probably preface this by saying, I don’t go to the nail salon all that often. Other than keeping my toes polished in the summer, I’m a nail biter, and therefore not one to waste the time and money on a manicure. Not to mention, I find the number of choices of color painful to choose from.

But I had gone with my daughter back in June and shockingly, my nails have grown. I had a gift certificate, and so I found myself at the nail salon, alone. …

Sandy Gold

I’m an educator, an advocate for inclusion, an avid reader, and a mother struggling to adjust to being an empty nester. IG:@outofturnspeaking

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