Saturday, December 29, 2012

Maryl sings: The Aging Rocker Blues

Roger Daltry (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty)
Did you catch “12-12-12 The Concert for Sandy Relief” live from Madison Square Garden? I was reminded of “Live Aid”, a benefit concert in 1985 to save the starving children in Africa and the original one, “The Concert for Bangladesh”, in 1971 organized by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, recently deceased at 92. The 12-12-12 concert was less global and dire in the crisis it was addressing but there was some overlap with the venues and the performers.  The latter were naturally a bit weathered but still strutting their stuff. And apparently that’s what some of the Twitter buzz was about… 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Caryl appreciates: Season's Greetings

I don't send Christmas cards but I love getting them.  I especially love the family picture cards, watching the kids age each year, the settings change, the clothes no longer matching or even color-coordinated.  In our second lives, if you are like me, you are probably getting pictures of friends' grandkids now. (Thanks, Jane for the sweet picture of Eliza May and Will on their baptismal day. And, Annette, great to see three generations still hanging out with Mickey and Minnie.)  Though I am less fond of holiday letters, I loved my high school friend Mary Beth's this year. To be accurate,  it's a Christmas email, not a letter.  Nevertheless, in this year's missive, she told of the recovery of her husband Jerry who was stricken with a fightening illness affecting both his body and his mind this fall.  The email recounts his remarkable recovery that enabled him to return home for the holidays after several challenging months in rehabilitation.  "Believe in miracles," Rip (her nickname) concludes. 

But there is one card I look forward to every year with the greatest anticipation . . .

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Caryl exits: Out of Africa (and rediscovers 7 reasons why she travels--and you should too.)

I’m home after 10 days and 11 flights (I feel like Hillary Clinton!) in Africa.  The trip was exhilarating: Zanzibar, Dar es Salaam and Arusha in Tanzania, and Capetown and Franschhoek in South Africa.  And yes, Maryl, I did do my Christmas shopping!  But even as fast moving as the trip was—it was more like seeing the trailer than the movie—it reminded me why I love to travel and why it's always worth the pre- and post-vacation stresses, even at this time of year.  I’ll tell you more about what I saw and what I learned in a future post (think 2013!) but here are 7 persuasive reasons (from bigger thinkers than myself) to leave your comfort zone:

1.    All journeys  have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware. --Martin Buber

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Maryl shifts: To Buying a Christmas Dress  Sonia Rykiel, Vince, Reed Krakoff, Marc Jacobs

I don’t know about you but I never leave time to buy myself something to wear for the holidays.  Maybe you’ve poked around in the Misses department in between buying a sweater for your husband and another pair of gloves for your sister.  If so, then you’ve noticed the racks full of dresses and most on sale.  But have you carved out some time to shop for a Christmas dress in between the endless gift buying, cooking and decorating?  We should all take an afternoon off, grab a friend or not, have a nice lunch and try on some dresses.  And I think I’ve rediscovered the style that will make this easy and painless. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Judith writes: Holiday Traditions Aren’t Just for Kids

By Guest Blogger, Judith A. Ross
“A hint of light”

Every year since he left home, a few weeks before Christmas, our younger son, our very own Kris Kringle, sends us a message. And every year, he asks the same question, “Have you bought a tree yet?” 

For a Jewish girl growing up in a decidedly WASP town in Massachusetts, a Christmas tree, and not a Chanukah menorah, on display in the living room was an object of both scorn and envy. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Maryl presents: Gifting and Regifting Ideas

How's the Holiday buildup going for you?  I'm hoping not to repeat last year when it was touch and go up to the finish line.  It's the gift buying that I find the most time-consuming and frustrating.  How do you not repeat buying the same thing you bought for a brother-in-law last year?  You would think in my second life I'd have this down pat and not be panting my way to Christmas Day.  I'm streamlining the exercise this year though.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Caryl contemplates: Christmas at Hyde Park on the Hudson

If I weren’t leaving for Zanzibar (no kidding!) on Thursday. . . and having my book club and the author of The Sisters Malone over for dinner and a discussion at my apartment tomorrow night . . . if it hadn’t been the weekend of Sinterklaas’s arrival in Rhinebeck—an event that turns the village into a twinkle-lighted slice of Americana to rival “It’s a Wonderful Life”. . . I might have made it to the nearby Wilderstein river estate to see the home of Margaret “Daisy" Suckley all done up in its turn of the century (that’s 19th) holiday splendor. You’ve never heard of Daisy Suckley? Well, get ready. . . .