Ghosts of Christmas past

I will admit to being stuck. Stuck in Christmas past, which — grief aside — has always been my “go to” place this time of the year. There’s something about the holiday that brings back vivid memories of childhood, even more so having watched the excitement and joy of my own two daughters that begins roughly an hour after Thanksgiving […]

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A life in 640 words

This past weekend I wrote my brother’s obituary. An obituary that he never would have wanted, but that we needed. This follows the personal tribute I wrote, which was more about what he meant to my life . Writing is always hard. But writing the summary of someone’s life, particularly when you are dealing with the fact that it’s really […]

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A certain view

Without fail, each time we spend more than a day in another place, I have the desire to move there. The highlight reel: I’ve opined about living in Pacifica and Monterey; Ipswich, Chatham, and Gloucester; Boulder and Nederland; Philadelphia, New York City, and Seattle. But Maine. That’s where I really sink my teeth in. Trulia and Zillow get involved. As […]

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12

When I first started this blog and was trying to figure out what I’d fill it with (still working on that), I briefly thought of making it parenting-related since that’s been the major focus of my life for the past 12 years. But then I started thinking that the stories of my kids weren’t really my stories to tell, and […]

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Dance like nobody’s watching at Carlisle’s Friday Night Live

by Karina Coombs Brother and sister act at last month’s FNL. (Photo by Parissa Khayami) [Reprinted from the original Carlisle Mosquito article found here.] If you are in middle school and looking for a fun Friday night, Carlisle’s hottest club is FNL. Located in the gym and exercise room at the Carlisle Public School (CPS), and sponsored by the Carlisle Youth Commission, this place has everything: dancing, a professional DJ, snacks and drinks, basketball, ping pong, games, monthly theme parties and more. First held in 1984, Friday Night Live, or FNL as it is known, is typically held the first Friday of each month from 7 to 9:30 p.m. and is open to Carlisle students in grades six through eight whether or not they attend CPS. Admission is $8 and snacks and drinks are available for purchase, with the proceeds from  both directly supporting the program. Registration is required for FNL and can be done online through the Carlisle Recreation Department. Students may bring an out of town guest provided the student’s parent or guardian stays as a chaperone. An emphasis on inclusion when it matters Middle school brings a lot of change for adolescents: new teachers, new responsibilities and expectations and new social pressures. Wanting to fit in and be included, such as invitations to social events outside of school—or a lack thereof—takes on greater importance as kids begin defining who they are apart from their families.

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Women Who Will

I stayed up as long as I could this morning, but in the end I made myself go to sleep knowing what we would all learn eventually and trying to figure out a way to explain this to my daughters. They went to sleep thinking they would wake up to a bold new day: the first woman President of these […]

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Pineapples

[NOTE: My kids and I started a summer writing challenge: using a word or general theme to create some piece of writing each week. My 10-year-old suggested, “pineapple” and the following is my contribution.] Wendy didn’t remember when it started. She only knew the story, one that her family liked to tell to just about every person they met. It […]

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Giving city kids a summer to remember

My newest feature article from the Carlisle Mosquito. The link is here, with full text below. Giving city kids a summer to remember by Karina Coombs Running barefoot through the grass. Gazing at stars. Falling asleep to the sound of crickets. When summer arrives, many children in Carlisle will experience these simple pleasures. But for some kids, these experiences are […]

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Small business with big plans

My latest feature on a local entrepreneur can be found here. Full text below. Small business with big plans by Karina Coombs Caitlin O’Connor knows a lot about brand management thanks to her time at Proctor & Gamble (P&G). Countless hours spent driving her four children to various activities has also taught her a lot about life in the car […]

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The Pact

She knew it was an unfair question the moment she opened her mouth. But it snuck out, accidentally or on purpose. “Promise me you’ll take care of your sister.” The urgency in her own voice was almost unrecognizable and she realized it was the first time she had admitted out loud that something was really wrong. Of course she and […]

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Stone Zoo, Stoneham

Today’s zoo trip was to the Stone Zoo in Stoneham. The facility is managed by the same organization as Franklin Park and one membership gets us into both.  It’s a funny little zoo and I ended up liking it a lot.  It’s on the small side and set across from a residential neighborhood on one end and what I assume […]

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Franklin Park Zoo, Dorchester

With one of the kids sick and school vacation coming to a close we decided to go to the Franklin Park Zoo in Dorchester.  The germs would be free range, if not the animals.  It’s been well over a decade since I was last at Franklin Park and while it looks better than it did back then, I realize I’ve […]

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Suspending Belief

Recently my 5-year-old told me she no longer believed in flying reindeer.  The conversation went something like this: E, “Reindeers can’t fly.” Me, “Well, maybe not all reindeer.” E, “Mama, you know no deer can fly.” Me, trying to think of something, “Okay, but maybe Santa uses some magic on just his reindeer to make them fly.” E, “There’s no […]

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Summertime Fun

This is the first July in many years that has truly felt like summer to me. Perhaps it’s because I’m now almost working and getting a break from my job makes me appreciate down time more than in years past. Or perhaps it’s because our kids are getting old enough that we can go out and do lots of things […]

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Out of the Mouth of Babes

Burlington, MA Mall Advertisement Ben and I went to the local mall yesterday to pick up some summer clothes for our almost 8 year old daughter: shorts, t-shirts, etc. Thankfully she could really care less about most clothing so long as it is cotton, has an elastic waist, and preferably contains an image of a dog somewhere on it. That […]

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Race to the Top

Annual School Halloween Parade

Annual School Halloween Parade “Of course a more expensive house seems nicer. It is nicer! If you look at houses you cannot afford, you will never be satisfied with the house you actually can afford,” said my father, using his 30+ years in real estate to provide me with one of his best wisdom nuggets, and the only one I […]

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