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Letters to the editor of the Globe Magazine

Readers weigh in on a kitchen renovation, an essay on history repeating itself with Trump, and more.

KEEPING MORE THAN JUST THE KITCHEN SINK

Thanks for pointing out (“Just Add Warmth,” October 22) that a kitchen does not need 32 episodes of This Old House and $150,000 to redo what is functional. Before pics would have made an even better story.

Patrick J. Kenney / Quincy

I think that painting natural wood cabinets is a mortal sin, but that’s just me. Besides, how long before the paint starts wearing off?

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Maximus Cadius / posted on bostonglobe.com

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“Starting from scratch isn’t always essential.” Obviously it isn’t when you already have the cabinets, countertops, flooring, and appliances you love and don’t need to rip it all out!

Veryinterested234 / posted on bostonglobe.com

[Y]ou’re not going to find a more affordable reno than this one: paint, tiles, cabinet hardware, and no structural changes. Not even a single new appliance. Really, the only “splurge,” if you can even call it that, might be the $2,000 or so spent on the spectacular statement light fixtures. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire budget was $10,000.

eddieo45 / posted on bostonglobe.com

DEMOCRACY IN TRUMP’S AMERICA

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I’m writing to express my appreciation for Cheryl Welch’s essay (“Unpredictable Populist Leaders Can Disrupt Democracy. Look to 1850s France,” October 22). It was excellent, and I agree with her assertion that Louis Napoleon closely mirrors Trump, and that we should be wary of our current political climate, especially since France saw a litany of horribles before lurching its way back to democracy. I developed a deep love of Tocqueville during college. I’ve found that a lot of Americans don’t know who he is. I hope this essay will turn people on to this great thinker.

Jonathan Bishop / Wilmington

Marx famously stated that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. He was referring to Napoleon I and Napoleon III. Speaking for myself, I often thought of the election of Louis Napoleon during the 2016 campaign. The public chose the nephew of Napoleon, who would later declare himself emperor, in the first and only presidential election of the Second Republic. The peasants went for the plutocrat. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

Linda Lee / posted on bostonglobe.com

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Usually those doing the repeating are darn sure they are in the right.

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improvr / posted on bostonglobe.com

Excellent and timely article. Well written! One minor point: Tocqueville was a member of the nobility, a count. He was in a privileged position which gave him access to power and a certain amount of immunity and freedom.

Edward Franks / Boston

BEWARE OF JOHN HODGMAN BEARING FUDGE

Guess I’ll eat my fudge without my glasses on, and in a dimly lit room [“John Hodgman Wants to Warn You About Fudge,” October 22].

oldjohn52 / posted on bostonglobe.com

[“]Even though I describe Maine in very unflattering terms, saying the oceans of Maine are made of hate and want to kill you, I say that because I love Maine and want to hoard it to myself.[”] I feel that way about so many places in New England  . . .  places that have become overrun with cars with NY state plates.

Pollepel / posted on bostonglobe.com

A STITCH IN TIME

My mother always had a knitting bag with her (Connections, October 22). Making scarves, sweaters, mittens, hats, baby blankets, you name it, also until just before she passed away in 2001. I have several of her knitted pieces on the shelf in my closet that I see every day when I get dressed, know I could never wear and yet cannot bring myself to get rid of: a blue and white vest I have not been able to get into since junior high, an “Uncle Fester” sweater, high turtleneck, loooong sleeves and a hem that went way south of my knees. Loved the story.

Joel Slotkin / Lexington

The instructions — definitely socks. Have knit many! I loved the article. What’s funny for me is I write down instructions and a year later I see them and think “What the?”

darplif / posted on bostonglobe.com

Thank you so much for such a heartwarming article. I smiled throughout the entire story. I have recipes on the back of envelopes, my second-grade spelling paper, and slips of paper cut off from who knows. The Sunday “funny strips” were the only wrapping paper we knew about for years, and leftover yarn (my mother crocheted) was the ribbon! I cannot part with any of these discolored, stained pieces of “my mother” that hold a special place in my heart.

Catherine Lucey / Westborough

A mystery, evidence, and no solution. I liked this yarn.

Constance Burkhardt / Central Valley, New Jersey

I have lived across the street from a great family for the past 45-plus years. Unfortunately, the wife died two years ago from cancer. We were good friends. She was a knitter par excellence and I a sewer. We have daughters a year apart. On her deathbed, with all her family present, she said to me: “If Sally has another baby, promise me you will make the child a bonnet.” Of course I said yes, thinking at age 44, Sally would never have a second child. Guess what . . . Sally had a baby! I could not, for the life of me, knit a hat, no way, no how! I bought the child a bunting instead. I totally enjoyed the article. Thank you.

Mary Jane Quinn / Reading

WORDS FOR LOSS

I always enjoy the Miss Conduct column. She says many wise things that would not occur to me. However, today (October 22) I thought I could make a contribution. She wrote: “Social media is rife with articles on ‘10 Things Not to Say to a Friend Who Got Laid Off/Has Cancer/Lost a Loved One,’ but there aren’t nearly as many on what one should say instead.” I have found that the best thing to say to someone who has lost a loved one is “I’m sorry.” “I’m so sorry” also works. Nothing more. The important thing then is to listen. Very often what the grieving person wants to do is tell the story — often over and over, again and again — and the greatest kindness one can offer is to listen. (Avoid unsolicited advice. Just listen.) This is based on my experience when my wife died suddenly 11 years ago, and also on my years assisting with our grief support group.

Lee Barton / Lexington

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