Pleased to Meet Me
When you’re a writer and you work with other writers, the subject of writing often comes up. Recently, as an empty nester—when you begin to think about these things—I noticed the recurrence of one specific topic: Why do I write? More specifically, who or what inspired me to become a writer? Every writer must have some sort of innate predisposition to write. But what happens to transform one’s predisposition into one’s calling?

When Your Daughter Chooses the Convent
Frequently, people come to a point in their life where they decide they “want to make a difference” in the world (before it’s too late?). Some use their newfound empty-nesting freedom to volunteer in their community. Others change jobs or perhaps take on a second, more service-oriented career. Some, though, get it right from the start: At a young age, they decide on a career of lifelong service. Sarah Van Anglen is one such child. A year and a half ago, as a junior at Immaculata University (near Malvern, PA), she made a commitment to begin the journey to join the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the “IHM” Sisters), the service and teaching order that runs the college. Today, when scandal has rocked the Catholic Church and vocations and attendance are on the decline, how did Sarah come to that decision? And, what will it mean to her family? What’s it like when your daughter decides to become a nun?

The Bonners Cook It Up
When Anaise Asousa Bonner was a young girl in the 1930s, her family’s home in west Philadelphia was without a refrigerator. Her mother stored food in a literal “ice box.” She’d choose a chicken from a wire case at the local butcher shop, have it killed, then take it home to singe and pluck the feathers in their kitchen. She’d buy a sea bass from the fish vendor peddling his wares through the neighborhood and scale it herself. And, there in her small kitchen, she’d feed her family of eight with stuffed grape leaves, laban, baklava, and other delicacies from the Old Country. (Johara and Constantine came to America from Greek families living in Jerusalem.) A lot has changed in 70 years, but the recipes have not.

An Interview with Leslie Hawke
Leslie Hawke, a Fort Worth, TX, native most recently from New York City, co-founded the Romanian nonprofit organization Ovidiu Rom. Hawke is also president and founder of The Alex Fund, Ovidiu Rom’s U.S. counterpart, a US 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Ovidiu Rom aids disenfranchised Romanian families, especially the Roma (Gypsies), by increasing their access to education and social services. Leslie lives year-round in Bucharest. Why the move? After schooling at University of Texas–Austin and University of Connecticut, and spending more than 25 years as an executive in educational and professional publishing, and nonprofit fundraising and program development, empty nester Leslie sought to “do something more worthwhile.”


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Empty Nest: A Magazine for Mature Families

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