A pandemic is, of course, an overwhelmingly negative experience, but thankfully some search for light in this darkness.
Approaching the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the end of the world as we knew it, COVID-19 has eliminated much of our daily routines. Because of that, I am facing stimulation starvation.
Gratitude. Admittedly, it was not the first word to come to mind when reflecting on the unique challenges of the past year. That would have likely been frustration, because like everyone else, I’m a bit pandemic-ed out and anxious for a return to some sense of normalcy. Not sure when that’s …
The man who designs Morton Arboretum’s Illumination views the popular yearly tradition as his chance to paint with light.
It feels as if everything has changed about the upcoming holidays. Except what is required of me. For my family, this year we will no longer be extended, but reduced. Out of caution and COVID protocols, my brothers and sisters, spouses, children, grandchildren, cousins and more will not be s…
Local environmental group offers a beneficial alternative to throwing pumpkins away
Seven strategies to help remedy COVID-related mental fatigue
A Naperville high school is making a childhood pleasure an integral part of its PE curriculum
When it comes to paying the tab for a group outing, what's a few bucks here or there?
I really enjoy going through our reader surveys and compiling our Best of the West results each year. It’s always interesting to get our readers’ perspectives on their favorite things about living in the western suburbs. I have been doing it for so many years now that I have a pretty good id…
I’ve never been a big fan of running just to run. I’m OK running when there is a ball to catch or a basket to be made or when it is part of virtually any sporting activity. Because then there is a reason to run beyond running itself — it is a means to an end.
Since we all goof up now and then, why is acknowledging our mistakes so difficult?
Naperville librarian helps choose the Newbery-winning best children's book of the year
Naperville father-son team starts with trading toys and ends up teaching life lessons
Dealing with the cold is a challenge of mind over matter, simply don't dwell on it
I’m a big supporter of area restaurants embracing the concept of BYOB, or Bring Your Own Bottle (see our feature on page 44). It’s not that I have any vested interest.
I have never bought anything online. Actually, that’s not completely true, I’ve purchased airline tickets and made hotel reservations and such. So what I guess I really mean, is that I have never bought any thing online — nothing tangible like clothing or any of the myriad of other stuff th…
For this group of west suburbanites, LEGO are building blocks of creativity
W here were you 50 years ago? OK, I’ll help you with the math, because if your were alive back then, like me, you can probably use the help. The year was 1969. I was in grade school at the time. And since it is October, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say I was still in mourning. After being in…
When it comes to TV and movies, a plea for more uplifting content
Naperville college student wins Six Flags Halloween challenge lying down
I have never been terribly artistically inclined. Case in point, when I was in about third grade I took my first piano lesson, after which my teacher told me to quit. OK, not in so many words, but apparently I was looking out the window throughout the lesson. So when my mom came to pick me u…
College of DuPage's hands-on HVACR program is filling a critical industry niche
In our ever more contentious society, a small step toward greater civility
I have some great memories of participating in picnics over the years, though few have been of the classic bring a basket of food and throw your blanket on the grass variety. Many have been more like informal cookouts, including one with a group of friends on the rocky shores of Michigan’s…
The ultimate accessory for self expression, and for me, paying tribute to my dad
Longtime volunteer beekeeper ponders the nature — and the future — of bees
Sitting on my sofa at home, I blurt out random words at the TV. Corkscrew. Jupiter. Ottawa. "How do those people not know those answers?" I think to myself, convinced of how much better I would be doing if I were in their place.
Those occasions when just being there can be a truly meaningful gesture
A comic book store owner's unusual challenge leads to out-of-the-box thinking
Overstepping the line between a personal favor and a professional request
Fermilab worker helps preserve a piece of the western suburbs' indigenous past
I’m going to really miss the Cascade Drive-In. And that admittedly might seem a bit strange, considering I had never actually been to a movie at the longtime outdoor movie theater off North Avenue in West Chicago. I had, however, truly and earnestly intended to go each and every summer for m…
It’s officially spring, but not because of the annual vernal equinox, which this year occurred on March 20. No, for me, spring actually arrived 10 days earlier, more specifically at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10th when we transitioned to Daylight Saving Time. I mean seriously, while I’m a big f…
A Naperville artisan offers an alternative to removing withered but much-loved trees
Spring is the season for fresh starts and trying and doing new things
Often imitated, but never duplicated. That’s how I like to describe our annual Best of the West reader survey results, which you will see starting on page 35. A reader favorite since its debut in the magazine 23 years ago, Best of the West offers an intriguing list of west suburban superlati…
Why snap decisions can sometimes win out over due consideration
It was a turn of events that could have been borrowed for the plot of "High School Musical" — top jock gets drafted for his high school play and gets hooked on theater. From that opening scene, Darrell Echols’ own storyline brought his adult self right back to high school, this time as the v…
Seven memorable lessons to live by that are still applicable today
How persistence and a YouTube upload of a college video led to an unexpected career
How a Waubonsie Valley teacher expands the horizons of her star-gazing students
I’m not one to brag, but I think it’s clear that kudos are in order to our crack editorial team for once again identifying and being on top of an interesting emerging local trend. I’m referring, of course, to our cover article on the explosion of craft brewing in the western suburbs.
A personal promise to simplify life in order to move on to a brighter future
The annual challenge of finding just the right items for everyone on your list
The “dictionary man” helps local grade-schoolers improve their communication skills
A lifelong theatre lover gets to perform opposite TV's Lou Grant