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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 4, 2014 / 4 Adar I, 5774

Why Americans Want Smaller, Cozier Houses

By Tom Purcell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Get this: Americans are getting sick of McMansions.

So says The Wall Street Journal in a recent report. Americans are favoring more historic designs, such as the arts-and-crafts houses their grandparents once lived in, over gargantuan suburban houses.

A new style of housing developer is emerging to serve this demand. These developers are designing and building more modest size homes — in the 2,500-square-foot range — that look historic on the outside, but that have modern amenities on the inside, such as custom kitchens and walk-in closets, that the original homes did not have.

I never did understand the allure of the giant boxes. You need a bicycle to go from the couch to the fridge to get a beer.

They are drafty and impersonal inside — big just for the sake of being big. They may be homes, but they certainly are not homey.

And so a longing for smaller, saner housing stock is growing. Part of this is the result of the stumbling economy — though, the article points out, the average size of a U.S. home has rebounded to 2,642 square feet.

Part of it is the result of people who are tired of living in big houses — people who are nostalgic for the Sunday dinners they enjoyed at Grandma's many years ago, when the average American family lived happily in a much smaller home. The average size of a U.S. home was 1,660 square feet in 1973.

Heck, when I was born in 1962, the third child in our clan, my family was living in an 850-square-foot ranch, one probably built with GI Bill money after World War II. Needless to say, the house was a little tight.

When my mother became pregnant with my sister Lisa, a bigger house was essential. My parents found that house in a new housing plan that my father drove by every day on his way to work.



It was a rectangular "cookie cutter" design typical of 1964. It had red brick on the bottom and white aluminum siding on the top. It had four bedrooms, one full bathroom and one half-bathroom. And it was all of 1,400 square feet.

My parents would raise six children in that house. I still remember my poor father, sitting on the edge of his bed in his robe, waiting to get into the shower. As soon as he heard the bathroom door open, he'd rush down the hall, but someone else would always beat him to it — and back to his room he went to wait some more.

By 1974, he'd had enough, so he and my mother hired a contractor to build an addition onto the first floor — their new bedroom with their own bathroom! They were in heaven. And our house had been expanded to a whopping 1,662 square feet!

My parents lived in that house happily for 34 years. It served us well and none of us ever realized how small it was until my parents moved into a bigger house. Now, when we drive by the old place, we say, "How did all of us fit in there?"

But it sure was cozy and is still the place of many grand memories. I suppose the modest size of the house forced us to live together — particularly during holiday gatherings in which people were cheerfully piled atop people.

I think this is what more Americans are longing for these days. Sure, we want to add "great rooms" on the back and three or four full baths, but I still think the trend is positive and reflects America's desire to get back to the basics.

Cozier and saner is better than massive and wasteful, but that doesn't mean dads should have to wait hours to gain access to the shower.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR Contributor Tom Purcell, author of 'Misadventures of a 1970's Childhood,' is a nationally syndicated columnist. Comment by clicking here. To visit his web site, click here.


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