Articles by Sarah Smiley

 
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

If schools were designed for introverts

By Sarah Smiley on Feb. 21, 2015, at 9:25 a.m.
If you are an introvert and you went to school, you know our education system is not designed around you. Indeed, much of the world is not designed for you. The world is for extroverts, and the first time you learn this is your first day of junior high school, …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

When I was cool, I didn’t ask for directions

By Sarah Smiley on Feb. 15, 2015, at 6:16 a.m.
I am not going to say this is a male trait, because between me and my husband I am the one who doesn’t like to ask for directions. Maybe it is an introvert thing. I’d rather wander aimlessly through the hardware store aisles than ask for help, because then I …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Why we chose small-town life

By Sarah Smiley on Feb. 08, 2015, at 10:42 a.m.
Before 2008, we always lived in a metropolitan area. By “metropolitan area,” I mean somewhere with a Cheesecake Factory within driving distance. When we got orders to go to a small town, I told my husband, Dustin, “I’ll go for two years and not a day more.” Then I prepared …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Diary of a snow day

By Sarah Smiley on Jan. 31, 2015, at 12:38 p.m.
2:00 p.m. pre-storm: The school department cancels school 18 hours before the first bell would ring. This almost never happens. The kids haven’t even had a chance to go to bed with their pajamas on inside out. It’s like someone has spilled the beans about a surprise birthday party. There …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Knitting myself to peace

By Sarah Smiley on Jan. 18, 2015, at 9:22 a.m.
A year ago, I was struggling with a major episode of anxiety and depression. I’ve dealt with both my whole my life, and I’ve used various methods, some healthier than others, to cope. Last year, however, when my despair came seemingly out of nowhere, I felt like I had drained …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

No, Santa didn’t get insurance on the iPhone

By Sarah Smiley on Jan. 11, 2015, at 9 a.m.
I’ll begin at the end: By the time the boys returned to school after the holiday break, Dustin told them, “If your teachers ask you to draw what you did over vacation, draw a silver bowl and tell them, ‘Take from this what you will.’” Put a broken iPhone in …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

You can take the baby out of diapers, but will the dad ever hear anything?

By Sarah Smiley on Jan. 04, 2015, at 10:09 a.m.
We didn’t need science to assure most of us that when compared to women, some men respond differently to interruptions from their children. Scenario A: Child: Dad, can I take the vacuum into the backyard? Dad: Huh? What? Sure, yeah. Scenario B: Child: Mom, can I take the vacuum into …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

What my kids have taught me for 2015

By Sarah Smiley on Dec. 28, 2014, at 7:02 a.m.
I’m not good with New Year’s resolutions, but this time of year has always made me reflective. Question: What causes more reflection than the beginning of a new year? Answer: Living with teenage children. Until my older sons hit the ages of 12 and 13, I stumbled through my life …
SARAH SMILEY
An animatronic raccoon is seen at Bugaboo Creek in Bangor on Friday.  Bangor Bugaboo is keeping their talking animals, while so many of the chain's restaurants have stopped using them.

Return of the talking animals

By Sarah Smiley on Dec. 21, 2014, at 2:55 p.m.
Parent companies sometimes make changes to the restaurants they own. Mostly, these changes go unnoticed — an unpopular menu item disappears, green tablecloths are replaced with red ones and so on. Other times, patrons notice and they take their business — and their wallets — elsewhere. Bugaboo Creek Steakhouse, which …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Five things I learned at my 20-year reunion

By Sarah Smiley on Dec. 14, 2014, at 10:29 a.m.
1. Men really do age. Flip through any family photo album in our house, and I’m willing to bet money you’d find my husband, Dustin, looking exactly the same: khaki pants, striped shirt, same haircut and unintentional 5 o’clock shadow. He does not change. Flip through the same photo album, …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Why I can’t tell my son about Sandy Hook

By Sarah Smiley on Dec. 07, 2014, at 10:11 a.m.
My youngest son, Lindell, doesn’t know what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary school on December 14, 2012. He had just started kindergarten and was nearly the age of the victims, so I shielded him from the news. Call it maternal editing. Call it over-protection. But even I couldn’t wrap my …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

What’s a restaurant with no talking animals?

By Sarah Smiley on Nov. 30, 2014, at 9:41 a.m.
Bugaboo Creek is a popular family restaurant in the Northeast. Our family had never heard of it until we moved to Maine six years ago. Once my youngest son, Lindell, who was about 2 years old at the time, learned Bugaboo Creek had talking animals hanging on the wall, it …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

A missing ring, a missing bird, a man to reunite them all

By Sarah Smiley on Nov. 22, 2014, at 4:36 p.m.
Nothing restores our faith in humanity like a story about people helping people when we, sadly, least expect it. Someone finds a wallet full of money in the grocery store and takes it to customer service. A shopper receives too much cash back and alerts the cashier. An ATM malfunctions …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

One-two-three punch of Old Man Winter

By Sarah Smiley on Nov. 16, 2014, at 11:11 a.m.
This time two weeks ago, Old Man Winter made an unexpected arrival and pummeled much of Maine with a foot of snow, leaving in his wake downed power lines, crippled trees and heaters that came to an abrupt stop. I must say, the old man has terrible timing. His tantrum …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Meet some of the population’s 1 percent that serves in the military

By Sarah Smiley on Nov. 09, 2014, at 11:36 a.m.
Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Stewart, Humphrey Bogart, George C. Scott and, my favorite, Elvis Presley — these are just a few of Hollywood’s military veterans. None of them is alive today. Celebrity veterans who are still living include James Earl Jones, Tony Bennett, Hugh Hefner, Mel Brooks, Clint Eastwood, …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Ebola response eroding military-civilian trust

By Sarah Smiley on Nov. 02, 2014, at 1:08 p.m.
We, the military community, will look back on the Ebola crisis as the time when the military-civilian divide split like a gorge. At issue are quarantines. President Barack Obama, speaking to C-Span recently about the differences between post-Ebola exposure quarantines for military and civilian workers, said this: “When we have …
SARAH SMILEY
From the time I released my costume control to Ford until about three years ago, he and Owen only dressed as Star Wars characters for Halloween.

Halloween: It’s for the (older) kids

By Sarah Smiley on Oct. 24, 2014, at 9:24 a.m.
I ruined my oldest son’s experiences with Halloween. I regret that. But maybe by sharing my story, I can help you not to ruin your child’s experience. Parenting is scary stuff, and our society is full of fear. I drank that Kool-aid once. I believed my son might be kidnapped …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

The military: Sacrificing personal freedoms for you

By Sarah Smiley on Oct. 19, 2014, at 9:24 a.m.
All this month: — A school district in Washington state decided to remove swings sets from its playgrounds after the tragic death of a child. Never mind the thousands — no, millions — of children nationwide who get good old-fashioned, diabetes-fighting exercise on swing sets. — A school district in …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

Tearing up carpet, finding surprises

By Sarah Smiley on Oct. 11, 2014, at 2:15 p.m.
As a military family, we had not lived in one house for more than 2 years. This is an under-appreciated expense of military life. Our choices are: (1) rent for 20 years and never have the chance to build equity, (2) buy and sell houses on a regular basis, also …
SARAH SMILEY
Sarah Smiley

The hardest part about living with all boys

By Sarah Smiley on Oct. 05, 2014, at 10 a.m.
When I married my husband, Dustin, there were certain things I knew about him. I knew he leaves his keys wherever he feels like it and can’t find them later. I knew that, left to his own devices, Dustin will put his spoons in one kitchen drawer and his forks …
 
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