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Articles by this author:

  •     Air travel is a conundrum, at once wonderful and terrible. It is wonderful to travel so far so quickly, but terrible to have to leap over all the hurdles it throws in your way.

  •     The conventional wisdom, as usual, is right: Being a grandparent really is wonderful.

        Almost nothing could have pleas­ed me more as the holidays came on than to see several of my grandchildren in performances. So far we have enjoyed two onstage, and two in make-believe shows at home. My husband and I have 12 grandchildren between us, but because they don’t all live nearby, we look forward to trips hither and yon for catching up.

  •     If federal sharpshooters show up here and pick off some deer, they won’t be acting on my behalf even though a resident deer family devoured the Christmas cactuses that were outside for the summer. The cactuses had gone out and in for years, flowering for Christmas, so I’m particularly aware of their loss this week. If I had known how hungry the deer were going to be, I might have been more watchful. Four small cactuses of the variety that blooms nearer Thanksgiving have taken their place, but they’re scanty substitutes.

  •     On Monday this week I awoke — I won’t say like Ebenezer Scrooge — to the awareness that the year was rushing to an end. Two and a half weeks till a new year. . . . And so I hurriedly began getting ready for it.

  •       Our family doesn’t like to throw anything away. This is a problem, given that I and one of my sons have inherited houses that were full of things to begin with, and given that my daughter used to haunt yard sales and the Ladies Village Improvement Society’s Bargain Box looking for interesting household implements and china and doodads.

  •     Thank goodness President Franklin D. Roosevelt convinced Congress to set Thanksgiving permanently on the fourth Thursday in November so that we can follow an annual routine. If Thanksgiving were allowed to fall pell-mell on any random day of the week — like Christmas does — I am not sure how we would get ourselves organized.

  •     The talk of Montauk last week was that Bill O’Reilly, the Fox News political commentator and best-selling author, had come to town. Not only was it news that he had bought a spectacular property on the oceanfront, but that he had torn down two small houses that longtime Montaukers considered part of the community’s heritage.

  •     Going to Buffalo, of all places, wasn’t my idea. But my husband’s notion of trying to see every house Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed is infectious. Chris had learned that Buffalo was the site of a number of Wright houses and other buildings, so going there had been in the cards for some time. It turned out to be a fascinating few days.

  •     My friend A.J. has a mission. As a leader of an organization called Solar Cookers International, which encourages the use of solar thermal cooking in sunny parts of the world, she has proposed that the United Nations make solar cooking — as a  “renewable, freely replaceable fuel for the daily preparation of food and safe water, without contaminating the environment” — a basic human right. “All people should have access to that right,” a document she recently submitted to the U.N. states.

  •     Let’s hear it for longevity. I’ve been at The Star for more than 50 years. Yikes. At least I haven’t been at the same desk or even in the same room in the building all these years. And, of course, we work differently now.