Author: Nancy Gift

  • A walkable city is a great city; where does Winchester stand?

    A walkable city is a great city; where does Winchester stand?

    I never understood until I lived in Pittsburgh the old joke about grandparents who walked to school uphill both ways.  Then, when I tried biking to work, I understood: I biked up from the river through Highland Park (and by the zoo, occasionally hearing the lions roar) on my way to work, and on my…

    Read More

  • Great cities, great parks

    Great cities, great parks

    When we think of great cities, we often think of buildings.  Buildings are, of course, important, whether the iconic ones (Chicago’s Sears Tower, New York’s Empire State Building) or the skyline as a whole.  But great cities also have two other features: water and parks.  Winchester has both of these, but we have people in…

    Read More

  • Getting messy

    Getting messy

    Every artist knows there is a phase of their work when the result is not beautiful, when the canvas looks chaotic, and perhaps when the studio appears to be in disarray.  When moving to a new home (or reorganizing), there is a phase when it seems everything is everywhere, all at once, when the chaos…

    Read More

  • Love your violets (and dandelions)

    Love your violets (and dandelions)

    Children have the right idea.  They’re drawn to the brilliant yellow of dandelions, which make short-lived but stunning bouquets, and they later rejoice in blowing  the fluff-carried seeds. Children pick the flower heads of broadleaf plantain and twist and *pop* off their heads.  Crowns are tied from clover flower stems, and the lucky child who…

    Read More

  • Where to start? Right here at home!

    Where to start? Right here at home!

    I want to start with the good news: many of the most sustainable things we can do also help make the world more fun.  They involve focusing on relationships, not stuff, and on appreciating what we have instead of constantly needing more.  So here’s the first suggestion: play local. Winchester has all kinds of good…

    Read More

  • Fear and resilience

    Fear and resilience

    As parents, we are in charge of managing so many purported threats to our children.  Sexually explicit books and media. Gun violence.  Drag queen story hours.  Child predators. Kidnapping. Drugs.  We are mostly past the early humanoid days of worrying about wild animals (though dogs bite over two million children annually), but now our primary…

    Read More

  • Dream Houses

    Dream Houses

    When I was a kid, one of my recurring drawings was a farm. Rolling hills, a barn, a small house, and horses roaming the pastures were universal features, along with other animals who inhabited some incarnations of this dream.  I lived in a neighborhood of Lexington on less than a quarter-acre lot, so this drawing was…

    Read More

  • Safe, Legal, Accessible

    Safe, Legal, Accessible

    This summer, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I signed up to volunteer as a driver for the Kentucky Center for Reproductive Justice.  I am a staunch believer that the right to an abortion is an integral part of the rights of women to receive health care.  I am not “pro-abortion” – but I…

    Read More

  • Preparing for Frost and Other Natural Disasters

    Preparing for Frost and Other Natural Disasters

    The average first in our area is October 15 by official records, although I have noticed in my last decade in Kentucky that our first fall frost has typically been closer to the end of the month. This year, the first frost came earlier than average, and I’ve scrambled to help my students at Berea…

    Read More

  • Roots and Wings

    Roots and Wings

    One of the standard conversations of middle age, for people with kids, is to politely ask how each others’ children are. And then, probably, where they are and what they’re doing. We have three young adult children from our household, two in college and one recently graduated. The recent graduate moved to upstate New York…

    Read More