Looking Sideways – Introvert/Extrovert …Couples learn to thrive

The year-end holiday marathon—the 40 days between Thanksgiving and New Year—has finally exhausted itself—and exhausted me along with it. On Jan. 2, I celebrated my own favorite holiday—National Introvert Day (yes, that’s a real thing) by finally getting some peace and quiet and recharging my batteries. I wasn’t depressed; I was just being myself, an introvert. Continue reading Looking Sideways – Introvert/Extrovert …Couples learn to thrive

Looking Sideways – Supermarket etiquette brightens holiday

The just-completed holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year began on what economists say is the busiest grocery shopping day of the year, Turkey Day Eve. As I fought the supermarket crowds ramping up to the holiday that day, I discovered some remarkable kindness among my fellow shoppers. Call it “Supermarket Etiquette.” Continue reading Looking Sideways – Supermarket etiquette brightens holiday

Looking Sideways – The quiet work of ordinary angels

We are entering the season of love and kindness. For some, this means God’s gifts to us while others take a more personal and humanistic approach. But a common factor seems to be an emphasis on providing the gift of good deeds to others.

There are dozens of examples of “Ordinary Angels” who quietly provide simple acts of goodness in Sylvania. This happens throughout the year, of course, but deserves special recognition during the holidays. Continue reading Looking Sideways – The quiet work of ordinary angels

Looking Sideways – Meet the authors next door

November falls between two holidays dedicated to reading, writing and literature: National Book Month in October and Read a New Book Month in December. They come at a time when individual Americans are reading fewer books each year, but book sales are at the highest level in history. In short, more people are reading, but they are being more selective about the books they choose.

With that in mind, I’d like you to meet three Sylvania authors who have published their first books this year. All are fiction, but each is very different from the others. You may want to pick up a copy for yourself, or put one on your holiday gift list. Continue reading Looking Sideways – Meet the authors next door

Looking Sideways – Queen’s gift shows perks of position

Lost in the funeral coverage following the passing of Elizabeth II last month was a small sidebar that proves one more time that it was good to be queen.

It involves famed jazz musician Duke Ellington, who in 1958 was at a high point of his long career when he had an audience with the 32-year-old monarch—just seven years into her reign. Continue reading Looking Sideways – Queen’s gift shows perks of position

Looking Sideways – Re-sale boom boosts local charities

The parking lot has become busier in the last few months on the Stonehenge side of Sylvania Avenue’s Saxon Square. Part of the attraction: more customers drawn to the American Cancer Society’s quality resale store, the “Discovery Shop.”

Although it’s been at the same location for 19 years, new manager Anita Campbell is growing traffic recently by offering higher quality merchandise, a revamped pricing structure, and outreach to younger customers…and men. She uses social media daily to attract prospective clientele, including Sylvania shoppers who often “really don’t know we exist.” Continue reading Looking Sideways – Re-sale boom boosts local charities

Looking Sideways – Hope makes our nation work

One hundred years ago, a young couple stepped off the train at Toledo’s Union Station and into their future. The journey that brought them here – by cart, ocean steamer, and rail – took more than two weeks. They had no home, job, or ability to understand the English language. With them was an infant daughter: my mother.
Grampa did odd jobs until he found employment in the huge auto parts factory that eventually became Dana. Gramma took in laundry to make ends meet. Over time, they bought a small house, became citizens, and saved enough money to send mom to college. Continue reading Looking Sideways – Hope makes our nation work

Looking Sideways – Rough job? Local workers love it.

Mark Luetke Labor Day is coming up next week, so I thought it might be interesting to check on the status of the American workplace using the Wall Street Journal, newspaper of record for business and the economy. (I know: pretty ambitious for “Looking Sideways.”) Among the labor-related stories was one headline that identified the roughest, most hard-to-fill job in the economy right now…assistant manager. … Continue reading Looking Sideways – Rough job? Local workers love it.

Looking Sideways – Grads return for school careers

Jack Smith is the unofficial good-will ambassador for retired faculty and staff of the Sylvania Schools. The former principal and assistant for 31 years (and teacher before that) recently pointed out a phenomenon that has meaning as our kids return to classes this month.

Turns out that some 125 of the teaching and non-teaching employees who will be greeting our students are former district graduates themselves. At more than ten percent of the total, that’s an amazingly high rate.
Dr. Veronica Motley, district superintendent, endorses the value of home-grown teachers. “It’s wonderful to have Sylvania graduates return to the district as employees, where they make a difference in the lives of the next generation of students. It is evidence of a healthy district and strong community here in Sylvania, where multiple generations choose to live, work and give back.” Continue reading Looking Sideways – Grads return for school careers

Looking Sideways – Fun activities boost summer finale

The next 800 words are for moms and dads of school-age children. They have nearly a month left before school starts, and my guess is they have already completed the 56 activities they planned to keep their children busy over summer break. Right now, they are bored, restless, and probably inside streaming “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” The parents are already going nuts.

Looking Sideways is here to help. We’ve assembled three experienced moms to provide some ideas about how to keep the kiddoes engaged in fun and healthy activities until August 16. Suggestions range from day-long road trips to short local adventures. Many of them are free. Continue reading Looking Sideways – Fun activities boost summer finale