Modern Love: How My Father Escaped Jail for Christmas

“Your dad is awake,” the person said. “We need you at the hospital as soon as possible.” After hanging up, I felt numb. I had cried after learning about my father’s coma, and I had cried when I made the decision to let him go. Actually, what I did went well beyond crying; it was…

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Robinhood Recaps From a Volatile Year

In 2020, wild fluctuations in the stock market caused by the pandemic turned millions of people into opportunistic investors. After stocks plunged in March, experienced traders and Nasdaq novices poured their dollars into buzzy tech companies like Tesla and Zoom, as well as businesses bludgeoned by Covid restrictions, including airlines, restaurants and cruises. To reflect…

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A Sweet Breakfast With a Secret

The best muffins are the ones that veer into cupcake territory. Buttery, rich and occasionally glazed or iced, a muffin is intended to make eating cake acceptable for breakfast. These crumb cake muffins do just that. With their sour cream-laden batter, they’re about as tender and moist as cake gets. And the nubby blanket of…

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The Start of a New Chapter in Their Favorite Bookstore

If Stephanie Williams didn’t know she was going to marry LaMarr Coles III after their first phone call, she sensed she might after their first date. And she definitely knew it two weeks in, at the end of date No. 3. “I was already in love with him,” she said, on the September 2019 evening…

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First a Trial Run, Then the Real Thing

It took Chelsea Graham and Matthew Kocurek four years to to get to their first date. The couple, who met through mutual friends in 2013, would repeatedly run into one another at parties and events around Alvin, Texas. At one birthday dinner, they talked the night away. Sensing a strong connection, Mr. Kocurek began making…

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She’s a Chess Champion Who Can Barely See the Board

Have you heard this story before? Girl has rough start in life, discovers chess. She becomes a United States champion. She studies Russian. And now she needs to find a way to get to Russia to play chess, because she can’t afford it. No, I’m not talking about Beth Harmon, the fictional hero of the…

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Why Experts Think Travel Bans Won’t Stop Coronavirus Variant Spread

LONDON — As nation after nation rushed this week to close their borders with Britain, the moves brought back memories of the way the world reacted after the coronavirus first emerged broadly in the spring. Most of those initial travel prohibitions came too late, put in place after the virus had already seeded itself in…

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Mixing Politics and Romance

For Sarah Lockman and John Collins, the pivotal moment in their relationship occurred in a most unusual place: high atop the staircase of Mr. Collins’s new home in St. Michael, Md., where he and Ms. Lockman struggled for three hours to carry a futon down the stairs this past January. “At one point, the futon…

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Social Q’s: Covid Christmas Edition

My three sisters and I have been doing Secret Santa with our kids for years. Each child picks a cousin’s name. They love exchanging gifts! This year, I told my sisters that my family would not be joining them for Christmas because of Covid but that we’d still like to be part of the Secret…

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In a Pandemic Fairy Tale, a Garden Leads to a Magical Friendship

Kelly Kenney was taking a late-night walk to clear her thoughts in her Los Angeles neighborhood this spring when a colorful pinwheel caught her eye. She stopped and found herself gazing down at an elaborate fairy garden at the base of a tree, complete with painted rocks and tiny trinkets. Pinned to the tree was…

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