Sarah Smiley

Lincoln’s lessons on depression

During one of my first depressive episodes when I was younger, I clung to stories of Lincoln and his depression.

My feelings about Uncle Sam: It’s complicated

If Facebook had a status update option for users’ feelings about the military, mine would be, “It’s complicated.”

Words from a grieving Navy widow

I regretted last week’s column as soon as it was published. In particular, I regretted that I wrote this: “[O]ur spouse’s jobs don’t become significantly more dangerous just because the U.S. is taking action [in a conflict].” I regretted it because Monday morning, my Navy-wife friend, Theresa, lost her husband, Landon, in a helicopter crash in the Red Sea.

Getting Free Range children will take guts, groups

Not many years ago, I wrote in protest of bringing snacks to kids’ soccer games. I said that making cookies for halftime was ruining my weekend, as was being expected to sit on the sidelines during every practice. I can think of 101 things I’d rather be doing than watching soccer practice.

Sarah Smiley

Sarah Smiley: Are you a cool lake person or a hot beach person?

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who like beaches, and those who prefer lakes. Well, actually, there are also those people who mouth the words of someone who is speaking to them (how do they do that?), and those who do not. But for the purpose of this column, you are either a lake person or beach person.

Sarah Smiley
Sarah Smiley.

A few times the commenters got it wrong

Last month, a local radio show, invited me into the studio to talk about online commenters. This meant that I had to (1) read through months-worth of online comments, and (2) still look in the mirror without feeling fat, stupid, ugly, and arrogant afterward. Because that’s how some commenters describe me.

Sarah Smiley.

The one who calls himself Ford Smiley

Ford and I were checking out a book at the public library. Wait, let me rephrase that. Ford was checking out a book; I was his driver.

Tearing up the carpet and finding surprises beneath

This picking-up-and-moving does have its advantages though.

Will dad ever hear anything the kids say?

Sarah Smiley: Navy Wise: We didn't need science to assure most of us that when compared to females, some men respond differently to interruptions from their children.

Sarah Smiley: Questions answered about women and the draft

Last week's column about women and the draft, and specifically readers' responses to it, raised many questions. I answer them below.

Sarah Smiley: All my children are vaccinated. Here’s why.

Imagine for a moment that a scientist has created a preventative vaccine-like shot for all types of cancer. But there's just one catch: the vaccine carries a minuscule risk (say, one adverse reaction for every 40,000 doses given.) Would you do it?

Don’t judge your spouse by his cover | Navy Wise

I made a mistake. Despite almost 16 years as a mother to all boys — boys whom I know absorb my comments and actions — I had a moment of weakness and forgot. I opened my mouth and bad, hurtful words came out.

So … about that fear of flying…

After nearly 17 years of an all-consuming fear of flying that left me grounded, I got on a plane in July with my husband and flew to Washington, D.C. I even flew back without Dustin.

Sarah Smiley: Consumed by ancestry family research

I've shared before how our family came to Maine seven years ago. The military sent us here after my husband, Dustin, put Maine on our wish list of future duty stations. But why did this California-loving boy put Maine on the list at all? The answer lies with a clan of Smileys who made their home here at the turn of the century.

Dinner at the Smiley’s | separating politics from people

In September, when Senator-elect Angus King (then still a candidate) was the 41st guest to fill my deployed husband’s empty chair at the dinner table, as part of our year-long project “Dinner with the Smileys,” he was greeted in the front yard by my three boys chasing each other with foam swords.

Treasured art a gift through time

My husband and I went back to visit Dot last week and hear about life

Sarah Smiley: What I’m feeling as my husband prepares to retire from the Navy

A year from now, my husband will retire from the Navy, so I have begun the emotional countdown of lasts: last deployment (thank you), last time I see him in uniform (tear) and so forth.

Sarah Smiley: The Drop Off Zone (Plus, flip-flops with socks)

Imagine, if you will, a mother driving her teenage son to school. The mother is wearing Velcro rollers in her hair and has breakfast in her teeth. She's driving like a 3-year-old playing Mario Kart because the teenager is mad that he is late.

Sarah Smiley: Lessons not learned by playing Nintendo, phone games

The logic of video games was pretty simple, and utterly false, when I was 12 years old and playing "Super Mario Bros." on Nintendo. The "logic" began when the game cartridge wouldn't work, and blowing on the insides usually fixed it. Nothing else in real life is this simple. I have never blown air on a broken toaster and thought that it would work.

Phone use at restaurant is a real wake up call

So I pulled out my own phone (yes, my phone) and sent this text to Ford, the only other person at our table with a phone