I grew up playing golf, spending many a summer day in my youth hacking my way around Meadowlark Golf Course, a 9-hole Cook County Forest Preserve course near Oak Brook. I enjoyed the game, but was just as easily enthralled during those early years with scavenging for lost balls in the woods that lined the course.

I’ve lived in the western suburbs a long time — pretty much all my life except for my college years. It was a great place to grow up — when I get together with old friends, we inevitably talk about how lucky we were to grow up where we did . . . and when we did. It was — as my parents said b…

Dealing with Bad News It happens to all of us, it’s how we respond that makes a difference

Running any successful business is a formidable challenge. But running a successful retail business — especially a local brick and mortar one — would seem to be especially daunting. Running that same retail business for decades on end? Nothing short of miraculous.

Advance preparation is a good thing, but so is living in the moment

Volunteer shovelers address Aurora seniors’ top winter concern — snow removal

I’ve always been a big cheeseburger fan. In fact, when I was young — probably 8 to 10 years old — we took a family vacation to the east coast, driving of course. I ordered a cheeseburger at every restaurant we went to, lunch or dinner. Even when my Dad splurged and took us to the 775-ft Skyl…

Six Degrees of Separation It’s often a smaller world than we think — and that’s a very good thing

Much of life, I’ve come to believe, is a matter of killing time or filling time. And determining the difference between the two is not always as easy it would seem.

The long tradition of backyard, personalized swimming lessons continues

It’s important to know a little about everything. That was one of the mantras of journalism school back at the University of Missouri where I attended many moons ago. The idea was that, as a journalist, you would invariably be writing about many topics, so having a breadth of knowledge could…

For 50+ years, he cared for commuting train riders like a second family

Thanks for being a reader. For longtime subscribers who read my column in each issue, that phrase may have a familiar ring to it. That’s because it has been the last few words of my column for many, many years. Not quite as catchy as famed newsman Walter Cronkite’s nightly sign off “and that…

    What’s not to like about a great local bakery? Great aromas when you walk in the door. Shelves and shelves of delicious cookies, donuts and cakes with strawberries and chocolate, and custard and chocolate, and sprinkles and chocolate, and did I say chocolate? Better yet, many of the sweet tr…

    I’m not much of a singer. I can carry a tune OK, but since I never learned to read music, hitting specific notes is a hit or miss proposition. So on the rare times I sing out loud, it’s mostly softly to myself, when no one else is around.

    North Aurora girl’s outreach to those in need turns into an ongoing ministry

    I’ve become somewhat of an avid biker the past few years. I’m not a purist with the padded shorts and fancy bike. Though I ride about an hour or so almost every day, I’m very much a recreational biker — I’m not passionate about riding but it serves several positive purposes at this point in …

    One of the things I have become accustomed to as a small business owner is the need to wear many hats. Part of it is by choice and enjoyable — it can be fun learning new things and being involved in all facets of a business.

    An exercise in collaboration results in a creative community plaza in Naperville

    Sorry to disappoint, but I’m back. As regular readers may recall, last issue my daughter Shelby — who is also an assistant editor here at the magazine — gifted me with a one-issue hiatus from writing this column.

    New Naperville restaurant concept to put robots to work in the kitchen

    It was chaotic. What do you do as a magazine publisher when — just days before the next issue is scheduled to go to the printer — more than half of the content suddenly becomes no longer accurate or irrelevant or both?

    If I mentioned that I watched six hours of episodes in a Netflix series on a recent Tuesday night when I had a work meeting at 8 the next morning, would that seem to you like a lot of time spent binge-watching TV?

    Corine Gilbert remembers childhood field trips to Brookfield and Lincoln Park zoos and the Shedd Aquarium as outings that sparked her early interest in working with animals.

    Time flies when you’re having fun. That old adage has proven at least mostly true. The 25 years since we started this magazine have indeed seemingly flown by and I have been both blessed and fortunate along the way.

    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 …

    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