A New York Times article this past Tuesday titled, "Teenage Girl Leaves for ISIS, and Others Follow," by Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, struck close to home for me. The three young women who left London to enlist in ISIS in Syria were 16, 15 and 15.
Earlier this week, my sister Kathy called me, "Am I correct in thinking that Mom used to send us little kid Valentine's like the ones school children use?"
In grammar school, Valentine's Day meant wrapping a shoe box with brown craft paper, cutting a slot in the top for cards to drop in and decorating the outside of the box with hearts and cupids. Store-bought Valentines were labeled the night before and carefully taken to school to be given away. When the big day came, it wasn't only if you received Valentines that counted, it was from whom, and if they gave you your card first that mattered.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill, Britain's prime minister during World War II. Churchill took up painting as a hobby in 1915, after the Gallipoli debacle, where 46,000 allied lives were lost over nine months of the campaign. He went on to paint more than 500 paintings during his lifetime. As wartime prime minister, he took a break from painting, focusing instead on the task at hand - winning the war, no matter the cost.
Enthusiastic, entertaining, energized and eminent, President Obama's demeanor and delivery at the State of the Union belied his political reality. Unbowed, unbroken and possibly unaffected by the recent midterm Republican wave, Obama displayed his great skill by delivering an emotional teleprompter-driven speech that was a throwback to his first election. Varying tempo, pitch, passion and inflection, his speech was more a theatrical performance than a delivery of a prewritten, pre-released text.
As members of the 114th Congress were sworn into office on Tuesday, their party affiliations described what happened last November: 246 of the 435 representatives and 54 of the 100 senators are Republican.
New Year's is the almost-perfect holiday (Christmas takes the blue ribbon). It's a combination of reflecting, celebrating or possibly just being glad of getting rid of the old year - while at the same time looking forward to the potential and possibilities of the year to come. It's the bridge between the past and present, where what has been done is over - but the future still looks bright, if a bit hazy.
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"Miracle on 34th Street," "White Christmas," and "It's a Wonderful Life" are among my favorite Christmas movies. All three stories revolve around people, connections and miracles.
A bi-partisan budget agreement was unveiled in a press conference this past Tuesday night by House Budget Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan (R – Wisc.) and Budget Committee Chairman Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash).
We were sitting in a sunroom, swapping stories, news and updates when the question was asked, "Why did they get divorced?"
Editor's note: This column by Jackie Gingrich Cushman was originally published Nov. 22, 2012. Her mother, the late Jackie Ginrich, died this year, on Aug. 7.
This month, our nation has two pivotal anniversaries: the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by President Abraham Lincoln (Nov. 19), and the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (Nov. 22). The first anniversary reflects the core message of remembrance, forgiveness, rebuilding and honor. The second, the assassination of a president who embodied youth and hope, reminds us how an instant can not only end the life of an individual, but also upend a nation.
Autumn has always been a transitional season for me. As a child, I saw it as the time when the carefree days of summer changed to conform with the structure and requirements of school. The same held true through college and graduate school.
Transformation is fascinating, especially when the change is dramatic and you can see it happen before your very eyes. That point was underscored to me this week by "Body Evolution," by Global Democracy, a video that was released two years ago, but went viral last week, when the model was identified publicly.
Last night, my husband Jimmy and I were talking about how fast time, at least as it pertains to our children, has flown. Our 14-year-old daughter, Maggie, is planning her first Halloween trick-or-treating adventure away from home and out with friends. She spent her first Halloween dressed as a pumpkin when she was less than a month old, too small to even hold her head up by herself. The next year, she was an angel, and we pulled her around in a little red wagon to gather treats.
When our oldest child was an infant, I talked to her nonstop. It was an ongoing monologue, a narrative of her life in progress. Topics included what we were doing, where we were going, what I was dressing her in, what the weather was like and what was happening next.
The news this week of two arrests in the case of a 12-year-old suicide is a reminder of how middle school drama can go awry.
The current budget impasse might have made you a bit blue. Ups and downs are normal in life, but when the potential of a debt default is the news, it's easy to forget the ups.
Yes, it is frustrating. The government should run smoothly and efficiently, going about its business and getting things done without much pomp and circumstance.
At times it can be discouraging, with all the news out of Washington focusing on the negative, partisanship and gridlock.
Serendipitous events do not a strategy make.
Out of the corner of my eye, as I was passing a television, I saw a plane fly into a building. The sound was not on, and I thought, it must be a small plane and a small building. An errant pilot or a plane with failing equipment apparently had crashed when it intended to land.