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Stories written by Joan Florek Schottenfeld

As You Like It: Lost Art of Letter Writing

It’s summer so I have more time to do things that I neglect during the school year. Like dusting. I hate dusting. I would rather get my teeth cleaned. At least there you know it will last six months. But dusting is something that only Sisyphus could have invented. But after reaching for a book […]

Remembering Maura: Eat Dessert First

Editor’s note: The column below, entitled “New Friends,” was published in an earlier edition of the Canton Citizen and is being reprinted with a new introduction by the author in memory of the late Maura Sullivan, a Canton attorney and longtime community volunteer who passed away on March 11. I learned Maura’s philosophy of life […]

As You Like It: Bubble Wrapped

Bubble wrap sent a Philadelphia military academy into lockdown last week. According to US News and World Report: Officials with the Valley Forge Military Academy and College say a student who lives in an Eastern University apartment building located on the academy’s property heard what she thought were shots fired Monday evening, and called 911. […]

As You Like It: Yahrtzeit

Last week Steve and I decided to escape the house for a day trip. Steve’s been wanting to stroll Newport’s Cliff Walk for a long time now, but somehow each summer passes and we never quite get there. On Sunday we finally made it. It was a perfect New England day — mid 80s, sunny […]

As You Like It: Less Than a Minute

I couldn’t remember the last time Snoopy had lain so quietly in my arms, allowing me to softly stroke his wiry fur. I buried my nose in his ears, which have always been the softest, silkiest part of him. For months now he had been content only when walking with Cheryl or sleeping. The rest […]

As You Like It: Hearts and Stars

We used to sit on the lifeguard chair on lazy summer nights, hold hands and watch the stars. The voices from the boardwalk and sounds of Coney Island fun were the background for our conversations. We would talk about school and then later, when we were older, about the future. The summer before he left […]

As You Like It: Winter Light

I’m not a winter woman. The cold, the dark, the endless nights — not for me. When I was a child I loved winter because I loved playing in the snow. I can still see the mountains of ice on the New York City streets looming higher than our building. We would climb them thrilled […]

As You Like It: Size Fabulous

On Monday mornings Kathleen leads a non-stop workout class. She crams more into an hour than anyone else I know. In other classes, if I see there are only five minutes left, I know the end is near. But Kathleen can fit in at least five more bone-crunching, muscle-rending, soul-scorching moves — all guaranteed to […]

As You Like It: The Dress

Looking back on my youngest daughter’s wedding, I realize that much drama centered on her dress. Buying the dress turned out to be relatively simple. When Mariel was still in grad school in Arizona she and a good friend went shopping and came home the same day with a dress. No muss, no fuss — […]

As You Like It: A Perfect Ten

Every Sunday night I check my calendar for the week ahead. Any important appointments? Anything coming up that I had forgotten about? That’s why I check before the week starts — I learned my lesson when I turned the page too late one Monday and found that I had missed an early morning appointment. Mom […]

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