Valerie Schultz

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: A mother's life echoes phases of the moon

    Ever since I was a little girl, the sight of the moon has lured me. I remember tracking its mysterious monthly phases with my chin on the windowsill when I was supposed to be asleep; I still note its rising and setting in the night hours. I like the words associated with the moon: waxing, waning,

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Whose freedom of religion? Mine or yours?

    Recent quantities of ink spilled and blogs shared over the topic of religious freedom invite the question: What is it we mean when we talk about this particular issue? In America's simplest terms, religious freedom means that no one can force you to go to church, and no one can keep you from

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Caffeine fueling never-ending race to the top

    Caffeine is my favorite drug. Other than an occasional glass of wine, it is the only usage I've retained from my reckless youth, having sworn off other adventurous substances in favor of staying alive and employed. I've periodically given up caffeine consumption, those intervals exactly

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: God is a God of change

    The stories of the Bible often serve as proof that, no matter how many thousands of years pass, our fundamental human distaste for change has endured. We humans don't like change. This struck me anew while I was reading a daily Lenten passage from the Hebrew Scriptures. The Israelites had been

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: We're never too old to give up reading aloud

    Every month of the year, various organizations let us know that the particular month we're currently in stands for something special. Some we know a lot about, such as the fact that March is Women's History Month. You may not know, however, that March is also designated as National

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Metaphorically speaking, I'm living in a desert

    Where have I gone? That's the question I ask myself these days. The Old Me, Fertile Me, was full of energy. I worked a 19-hour day, and thrived on it. I was wife, mother, writer, chef, laundress, chauffeur, hausfrau, counselor, accountant, spiritual guide, homework consultant and cheerleader,

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Vaccination debate needs a shot of respect

    The uproar over the spread of measles at Disneyland, definitely not the happiest place on earth lately, has made me remember my childhood, and in particular, one of my favorite dolls. Her name was Hedda-Get-Bedda. (The ear can hear that a New Yorker must have christened her.) Hedda-Get-Bedda had

  • Valerie Schultz with her dad, Valentine, at her wedding in 1980. The columnist misses her late father on Valentine's Day.

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: First Valentine knew life was all about love

    This is the sixth Valentine's Day without my original Valentine, my dad, whose namesake is synonymous with love. His father, my grandfather, was also named Valentine. The family lore is that I was named after my dad because my mother refused to name her firstborn child, a boy, Valentine.

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Daydreaming may be exactly what we need

    There was a time in my younger life when daydreaming was frowned upon, when we schoolchildren were told by the nuns who taught us that an idle mind was the devil's playground. Keeping occupied, both in body and brain, was a virtue. This principle worked better for some than others. When my

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Why are compliments so hard to accept?

    Today, Jan. 24, is National Compliment Day, and may I say that you readers of this newspaper are a lively, good-looking, intelligent bunch. I am always grateful for the special comments that some of you direct my way, at least the ones that are nice. My grandmother would have liked National

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: As the years go by, I remain a (paper) calendar girl

    Sometimes change happens overnight, but sometimes you can see change coming from a long way off. I'm beginning to suspect that, just as books are making the transition to e-books, the paper calendar is slowly becoming a custom of the quaint past. This makes me uneasy. Technologically speaking,

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: If being PC is wrong, I don't want to be right

    The term "politically correct" has become a sort of dirty word. I've been called politically correct on more than one occasion, the implication being that I should feel not only put in my place, but insulted and smeared as well. Politically correct, or PC, is defined by the online

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Aiming for new mindset in new year

    So the new year is upon us, which is a good thing, a fresh start and all that, but I have to admit that, sometimes, all the talk about the new year just sounds to me like blah, blah, blah. The new year brings with it our best and most fervent resolutions, but after years of broken promises to

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: If only the charity of Christmastime were year-round

    Charity may begin at home, as the saying goes, but charity flourishes at Christmastime. The fact that Christmas is conveniently located at the tail end of the calendar year, when our thoughts also turn to last-minute income tax deductions, may add to the dollars donated to charities in December. I

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Moments percolate through our lives

    There used to be a series of commercials with a jingle that went, "Celebrate the moments of our lives." The product advertised was flavored coffee -- General Foods International Coffee -- in the days before Starbucks. The ads were silly, contrived things, but the tagline stayed with me.

  • Columnist Valerie Schultz

    VALERIE SCHULTZ: Uncle Bill was the model of low-key holiness

    My Uncle Bill may not have been a guy you would notice in a crowd. He was your classic dad/grandpa/everyman. In a family of seven children, he was number three, and my mom was number four. He had three sons, who are some of my favorite cousins, and was married to one of my favorite aunts for 63