In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 13, 2008 / 8 Iyar 5768

Welcome home to a smelly kitchen

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When I open the back door, I am greeted by my dog's wagging tail and the unmistakable, pungent scent of overripe bananas. I close my eyes and breathe deeply, knowing fruit flies are swarming in my kitchen like locusts on the prairie.

Ah, home sweet home.

The kitchen is a four-day time capsule. There, squeezed against the wall, is the ironing board, right where I left it. The iron still stands precariously on the end where I set it to cool before it could be put away.

There's a newspaper on the kitchen table. When I left it was Monday's edition; now it's Friday's.

On the island counter sits the bowl of fruit and vegetables I restocked last Sunday, uneaten and in various states of decay. The now-black bananas emit their gaseous odor alongside wrinkled peppers of yellow, red and orange; a shriveled lime that resembles a Hacky Sack; and an avocado covered in cheesy white rot.

If my plane had gone down or I had been snatched away by aliens, I wonder how long it would have taken for someone to notice the rotting food in the middle of the kitchen.

I wonder, too, as I drag my rolling suitcase to the bedroom, if they would cover the ironing board with a tablecloth and use it as a buffet table or perhaps lower it, put the computer on it and call it "the desk in the kitchen."

I don't travel much for business, but when I do, I'm always reminded that in my home, there's no one like mom.

Like many women who must travel, I left a four-day meal plan, for which I had shopped and laid in provisions. Like many women who must travel, I came home to a fridge full of leftover Chinese takeout and a trash can overflowing with Subway sandwich wrappers.

I'm not so vain as to believe my family couldn't get along without me. My husband managed to shuttle everyone to school and sporting events and even handled a special function for our eighth-grader that required dress clothes and a camera. (Thankfully, I was still in a taxi on my way to a meeting when he called to ask how to turn on the camera.)

Also, I've learned through the years that it's OK for the dad to do things differently from the way the mom does them. A sack lunch is still a lunch, after all, even if it contains a sandwich with enough peanut butter to glue a child's mouth shut for the afternoon and a bag of carrot sticks fit for a bunny farm.

Still, when the mom goes away for a few days, everyone realizes that although she may not be indispensable in the strict sense, she is the only one who brings in the mail and carves a path through the mountain of shoes leading to the back door.

Just once, would I like to come home to find that the laundry has been kept up or at least that the clean clothes I meticulously folded before I left have been put away?

Oh, sorry. I must have dozed off and started dreaming for a second.

Am I annoyed about the fruit flies and the dried out sticky rice in my kitchen? Does it bug me that in addition to planning my own week's worth of appointments, I also had to print out a complete itinerary for the people I left behind and then took phone calls to confirm the information I had provided?

Yes and no.

It takes me a day or so to reclaim the kitchen, gather up the laundry and set the machinery of my life to humming once again. Within a span of 48 hours, I have re-established my routines and repositioned myself at the helm of my household. It's almost as if I were never gone.

It's good to get away every so often, but then again, there's nothing like the feeling you get when you walk into the house after a tiring business trip and breathe in the acrid stench of rotten bananas.

It's just another way my family says, "Welcome home, Mom. We love you."

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
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JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2008, Marybeth Hicks