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Letters From Rona (blog)

A fine day in Mendoza, Argentina

This brilliant fall day in Argentine wine country, I?ve done nothing at all except absorb the sights and sounds of a new place. Knowing it’s spring back home makes the whole experience more refreshing.

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A few delicious bites from the buffet of travel

A trip is like a breakfast buffet. I want to taste everything because it looks so tempting, and because at home I can?t start my day with scrambled eggs unless I?m going to scramble them myself. So of course I overdo it. The reality is, I?ll never taste it all.

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Books for the plane: my on-board survival kit

Remember the good old days of air travel? You got a free pillow in a cardboard-y cover, you could take your biggest tube of hand cream on board and you didn’t get dinged for an extra bag. Ah, luxury! Now the airlines have left us just one tiny indulgence: we can carry all the books we can stow beneath our seats. Thank goodness, because I’m bracing myself for a 12-hour flight to Buenos Aires.

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At long last, a vacation!

You’ll be hearing from me less often these next several weeks. As I write this, I’m packing for our trip to South America. Correction: I should be packing.

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Seen once, remembered forever: a tale of time and travel

I used to think I’d return to all the travel destinations that have stirred my soul. Now I’ve had to face reality: too many enticing places to see, not enough years of healthy wandering. And if I go back to the Alhambra, I might miss the Great Wall of China.

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Tossers and hoarders

I’ve never had any truck with pompous types who claim that there are two kinds of people in the world, except when I’m the one making the pronouncement. So I am here to tell you that among those who own worldly goods, a spiritual and moral divide separates the tossers from the hoarders. We tossers get a self-righteous charge from purging every corner of stuff we deem to have served its purpose. As you’ve doubtless observed from all those articles and web sites that exalt the “conquering” of clutter, our camp has the upper hand these days.

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Brilliantly bad prose: a celebration long overdue

All my life I have laboured to write well. But perhaps I’ve been trying too hard. I’ve just realized I may never craft a sentence as memorable as a whole flight of exuberantly bad sentences that appeared in my home-town paper back in 1972 and have resonated in my mind ever since. Trust me, to write this badly takes nerve, swagger and a kind of reckless brilliance.

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Another face of my city

The city I thought I knew like a friend revealed another side of itself when my husband and I took a long evening walk through urban corners we’d never explored. Right on our own turf, we had a mini-vacation that was full of surprises.

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A friend to homeless women (and at least one first-time author)

I didn’t remember meeting Lia Grimanis, a spirited advocate for homeless women. But she remembered meeting me at a crowded reception. And when she bought my book, she took a minute to cheer me on.

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Breaking my own rules

I’ve always chafed against killjoy restrictions (never do this, always do that). Then I realized who the ultimate enforcer was. Me.

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