Author Archive | Debbie Weil


Debbie’s Three Words for 2014

I’ve procrastinated, painfully, on this blog post. Here’s what happened. For the past several years I have selected three words as guides for what I want to accomplish and how I want to change in the new year. It’s a way of setting goals that I stole from several well-known bloggers (see here and here if […]

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Midpoint Review: “Why” a Gap Year

An article in the Wall Street Journal this week prompted me to think again about why we are taking a gap year at age 62. Today is my birthday so I can accurately say 62 for both of us. In The Case for a Midlife ‘Gap’ Year, the reporter lays out several reasons why aging Baby […]

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Paris: Dark Corners in the City of Light

I had a Proustian moment at the Alliance Française recently. Our professor was explaining the plus que parfait, the pluperfect form of a verb. Suddenly, it was 47 years earlier. I was at the Collège Cêvenol, a boarding school in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a small town in the mountains of central France. We were dutifully studying […]

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Pencil erasing an "error"

What It’s Like To Be My Husband’s Editor

When Sam and I decided to write a blog together, we spent about five minutes on the logistics of how it would work. It was clear we would both write. It was also clear that I would be the “editor” as well as the tech person responsible for posting new entries. So far it has […]

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Carpe Diem: Remembering the Genesis of Our Gap Year

The genesis of our gap year goes back 15 years. Sam and I were having lunch in a restaurant in Washington DC near the big, rambling house in which we raised our three children. It was a Saturday afternoon in April 1998. We were talking vaguely about what our future might look like and whether […]

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Josephine: Welcome to Our New Grandbaby!

A wonderful addition to our Gap Year arrived yesterday in the person of Josephine Catherine Harrington. Welcome Josie! She’s the daughter of our son Timothy and his wife Jessica and has a big brother named Cornelius whom you’ve heard about. We haven’t met Josie yet as she was born in Mountain View, CA where Tim moved […]

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The Advantage of Fewer Choices

I’m a little slow sometimes picking up on popular trends. I recently ran across the terms satisficer and maximizer and realized, to my dismay, that I am a full-on maximizer. It drives Sam crazy. Stick with me for a minute. There’s a reason I’m telling you this. The terms satisficer and maximizer were popularized almost a […]

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Why I no longer lust after a job at Google

I’m sitting in a bustling Peets cafe in Mountain View, CA, two miles from Google’s offices. Yesterday we had lunch at the main Google campus with our son, who is newly working there as a lawyer. The sky was blue. The temperature, in the low 70s, was perfect. The campus is marked by green lawns and […]

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Poetry, place and a quiet summer evening

If you asked me how many poetry readings I’ve attended in Washington DC over the past three decades, I would be hard pressed to come up with a handful. Surely, you say, DC has so much going on there must be poetry readings and live performances every night of the week. But that is precisely […]

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