The Issue: Seasons of the Heart
Winter is tough enough. But this year, we’re traveling from the winter holidays to spring through the most amazing winter weather ever. In my lifetime, anyway. Two feet of snow and counting? Where am I, Buffalo? Alaska? Austria? Now, I love the white stuff as much as anyone else—we’ve been x-c skiing, winter hiking, attempting to get our Prius to understand that white roads are OK, and so on. But I’m ready for spring, aren’t you? Well, this is the winter issue, so we need to begin there.

My Christmas was pretty interesting this year, by the way, and as the holidays represent the beginning of our sojourn through winter, I recommend A Christmas Story. Not quickly forgetting the holiday rush? Read Marian Buckner’s tips on de-stressing your life in “Time Out!” Some good fodder there for New Year’s resolution makers.

Matt Hugg reminds us that there are ups and downs to an empty nest in “PERSPECTIVE: The Yin and Yang of an Empty Nest.” You think you have problems? You ought to be a member of the Luo tribe, in Kenya. New contributor June Gondi gives an alternative view of the empty nest, with a glimpse into “Empty Nesting Luo Style” (or not).

Appropriate for Valentine's Day—the “season of the heart”—Dr. Dan Gottlieb gives us the quintessential advice on loving (all) others in “Aunt Sharon’s Secret,” from his book Letters to Sam. Linda Wisniewski’s interview with Empty Nest reminds us that it’s all about the journey—our life journey—and the best path is to follow is the one to our heart.

Okay, ready to journey away from winter? Conjure up those Mai Tais and big green turtles: Tammy Jo Meier is back with Empty Nest, recounting her recent “big birthday blast” on Maui. Finally, new contributors and mother-daughter team Emilie and Gretchen Haertsch help us reach out and begin to embrace spring. They go on location in “TRAVEL: Charleston, SC: Backdrop for Mother-Daughter Bonding” to Charleston’s annual March home and garden tours.

The Publication
In the fall issue, you may have noticed the magazine’s new format. When you click on, you’ll now come to the editorial (this page), which we’re calling “In This Issue.” Here, you’ll find an intro putting the articles (and links) in context. Of course, you can still reach the Features, Departments, and Editorial via the sidebar menu. But now you also have the links, and the thoughts tying them together, right up front.

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We are still working on an official Mission Statement and a Comments feature. Email us at with any other recommendations.

Late Winter, Early Spring
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I saturated myself with You Tube videos of John Denver performing his song “Heart to Heart” (from Seasons of the Heart)—in Assisi in 1986, on his album Country Roads Collection, and so on. And other love songs (“Perhaps Love” with Placido Domingo), “Love Again” on a very early Oprah Winfrey segment, and also on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show. Good stuff. I sent out cards, made dinner reservations (around Gary’s robotics schedule—yeah, it’s that time of year), and had a margarita lunch with daughter Sarah on the big V-Day (wearing lovely heart earrings and necklace from older daughter Amie, living near LA but skiing in Vail that holiday weekend). Life is good, so I’m not complaining. We have jobs. Our family’s healthy. (And we can afford our health insurance.)

In honor of Dan Gottlieb’s advice to extend love beyond our immediate family, I’m concentrating on reaching out and sharing. A good friend of mine from years ago has fallen on some hard times. We’ve reconnected and are spending more time together. I bring some meals over to her place, and she cooks for me, getting me through my annual “robotics widowhood.” During our December caroling adventure at a local seniors’ residence, I had the good fortune to meet a lovely group of people who like to carol and party (with punch and cookies). One sweet lady stood out, though, as she sat alone because of a hearing problem. We talked books and became fast friends, then celebrated her 88th birthday a couple of weeks ago with lunch at a local tea room. Each time I reach out, I find I’m rewarded tenfold. I start out planning to be the giver, but in the end, I’m the receiver of the gifts. It’s been a great way to begin the year.

Speaking of love, hubby Gary and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in June. As we get a chance (did I mention it’s robotics season?), we’re ticking off tasks associated with our planned "bareboat" sailing charter in the British Virgin Islands: renew passports, book flights, plan itinerary, lose weight and get into that bathing suit (me, not him), and so on. This, despite the college tuition loans that are still with us. That’s love. Or craziness. Or both. Currently, though, we just returned from a lovely x-c ski weekend in New Hampshire through the hospitality of cousin Alyce and husband Howard. And at the end of March, daughter Amie has invited me to her local Society of Women Engineers chapter banquet. (It’s their 5-year anniversary, and she’s president.) I’m counting the days…

Through it all, though, I'm looking forward to spring—how about you?

As always, because of our dedicated contributors, we have a fabulous issue. For more about Empty Nest magazine, visit About Us.


Robin C. Bonner
Editor, Empty Nest

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