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Friday, February 28, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Stories tagged: jill barville


That’s Life: Short, long journeys fuel family bonds

The ding was inconspicuous, a single soft note that barely begged for attention when it interrupted an involved conversation I was having with my 13-year-old. I might have missed it …


That’s Life: How our lines define our lives

The line stretched to the end of the block where it turned and continued, a mass of huddled people blowing on their hands and jumping up and down in the …


Front Porch: Hunting for a bed is an exercise in patience

For those who’ve asked and wondered, the bed still sleeps splendidly. This is the follow-up to the No. 1 question I’ve gotten as a columnist, one I’ve answered twice this …


Front Porch: September shift sparks array of reactions

Change is in the air. The scent of sunscreen, bug repellent and backyard burgers is waning, making way for the fragrance of freshly sharpened pencils, peanut butter sandwiches and hair …


Front Porch: Looking forward to son’s teen years

This week my youngest turns 13. He’s my third child to enter the teenage years, dropping the dependence of childhood like a coat that chafes at the collar and strains …


Front Porch: Worth effort to meet with old friends

The message thread on Facebook is so long someone named the conversation, “Titans who don’t see each other enough.” It began with an impromptu plan for a group of friends …


Front Porch: Parties are about people, not elaborate planning

It’s graduation party time. With seniors all over the city throwing their caps in the air this weekend, the calendar is crammed with celebrations. For some mothers, the graduation celebration …


Front Porch: Watching a child finish high school offers plenty to savor

This year is my first child’s last year of high school, with graduation three short weeks away. Though I should have known better, no one warned me how many lasts …


Dandelions tell tale of hope, rebellion

A splash of yellow caught my eye while waiting at a stoplight the other morning. In the center of a large concrete median, surrounded by a lake of asphalt where …


Front Porch: ‘World’s Hardest Job’ not as bad as ad describes

If you’re on the Internet much you’ve probably seen the recent viral video featuring interview clips for “The World’s Hardest Job.” Spoiler alert: It’s actually a 4 minute ad to …


Front Porch: Resisting the Easter dust bunny

The ants have marched into my basement, a silent announcement that spring has arrived. While I’m wondering how long they’ll last on the sandwich crumbs left over from lunches eaten …


Front Porch: Thriving plant has hardy soul

My first plant died in a matter of months. As a young college student I thought some fresh foliage would add adult ambiance to our tiny apartment. Then the plant …


Front Porch: Cutting down on apologies in 2014 tricky but needed

I’m sorry, but this year I’ve decided to apologize less. It’s my only resolution. While I’m a good goal-setter and always have some daily, monthly and yearly aspirations I’m working …


Front Porch: It’s nearly time for an old-fashioned snowball fight

This winter I’m old enough to say, “I remember when …” I remember when the school bus to Broadway Elementary only went through second grade so we walked or biked …


Front Porch: Long-lost, old toys remain loved

While making space in our garage for gardening tools this month I found an old toy truck that should go straight in the trash. Scratches and rust mar its green …


Sports parents: Let the coach call the shots

My first introduction to the unseemly sideline of youth sports happened at a U6 soccer game. The players were in kindergarten, an age when the goal flags at the end …


Front Porch: Timing isn’t everything in the long run

Running naked can be illuminating. Earlier this month I ran the Oktoberfest Half Marathon in Leavenworth, my third half marathon since spring. I’d already met my time goals for the …


Front Porch: Traditions help grieving

If only we had no need of candlelight vigils, of funerals, of tearful hugs. But we do. While these traditions of grief don’t lessen the pain they help us walk …


Parenting is unique, not competitive

Once, when speaking to a roomful of moms, I admitted I didn’t scrapbook. “When I remember to take pictures they usually stay on my camera for months. If I order …


Spitting image is true beauty

‘Wow. She looks just like you.” My daughter Emily and I exchange a look over the grocery cart. This acquaintance in the produce aisle isn’t proclaiming something new. He’s uttering …


Cat provided some tax assistance

I finished my taxes this week, after starting them in February. As soon as I discovered I owed – the fluctuating income of a freelance writer often brings tax time …


Perfect bed is eye-opening experience

I’m not a morning person. Although I get up early to exercise, I only leave the cozy covers because my running partner will be waiting. During our Northwest winters, when …


Runner’s tragedy had silver lining

Today, like many Saturdays, I’ll lace up my running shoes and hit the Centennial Trail for a long run. But unlike other Saturday runs, when I’m finished I’ll stack some …


I hate the game but love the player

Some people love playing games. I’m not one of them. Whether I’m asked to play poker, pinochle, Bingo, Sorry, Uno, dominoes, Go Fish or any other game, I can think …


Christmas music missing special note

When Curtis and I got married we swore we wouldn’t have a Christmas baby. Our anniversary is three days after Christmas and we felt the holiday week was busy enough …


Hearts filled with wags once again

Over the year I’ve written this column I’ve talked about myself a lot. I’ve also talked about my husband and kids. But I’ve neglected to mention an important family member, …


Sometimes it takes global village to raise child

In 1996, not long after I had my first child, Hillary Clinton’s book “It Takes a Village” hit the shelves. While I haven’t read the book yet, I’ve often thought …


Marathon madness is an addiction

I used to think marathon runners were incredible athletes, obsessive addicts, slightly insane or all of the above. I also thought they were young, skinny and gifted – something I …


Soccer mom strives to keep perspective

I’m a soccer mom. This title, just one of many mom titles I wear, used to conjure images of a cheerful mother giving a high-five and a snack to her …


Cherished chair born of frugality

Some call it frugal. Some call it penny-pinching. Others call it cheap. My family calls it responsible. Whatever you call it, living by a budget is the new black, the …