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So far bettyliedtke has created 542 blog entries.

A long-distance goodbye

My father-in-law passed away last week. When it was clear he wouldn’t be with us much longer, my husband drove to Chicago to be with him during those last few days. Before he left, we made the agonizing decision for me to stay home. Actually, making the decision wasn’t the agonizing part; accepting it was. In earlier times – meaning any time before the pandemic – we’d have been traveling back and forth to Chicago regularly, especially as my father-in-law’s health deteriorated. But since March, [...]

By |October 17th, 2020|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being|0 Comments

Right Name, Wrong Story

I was well into the book for my next book club meeting when I saw an email from the leader of our group. She always keeps us up to date, sending out reminders of upcoming meetings and including in each email a list of the books we’ve got scheduled for the next few months, and a comment about the book we’re currently reading. In this email, her note said it was “a very interesting book, about an eight-year-old girl who is kidnapped. It is a [...]

By |October 9th, 2020|Columns|0 Comments

Doctor’s Orders

  I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday. Nothing’s wrong, and the doctor gave me an “All clear” report, along with the standard advice to come back in a year, or earlier if something comes up in between now and then. I’ve always stayed up to date with my annual check-ups, and any other medical appointments that are warranted on a regular or occasional basis. More and more often, I seem to be hearing, “At your age, you should probably think about seeing….” Or after raising [...]

By |October 3rd, 2020|Accountability, Columns, Health and Well-being|0 Comments

If you could go back….

If you could go back in time and change one event in history, what would it be? That question – or something similar – is the basis for countless movies, television shows, philosophical discussions, and theories about the space-time continuum. It was also the question at an online Table Topics contest I recently attended. In a Toastmasters Table Topics competition, contestants are asked a question – generally an open-ended, there’s-no-wrong-answer question. They have to respond immediately, and speak for one to two minutes on the [...]

By |September 26th, 2020|Accountability, Columns, Toastmasters, Values|2 Comments

A Champion for Change

“Champions for Change” is the name of the feature, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I saw one of the champions being showcased – a young man named Lual Mayen. He was born as his family was fleeing South Sudan, and has lived more than 22 years in a refugee camp in northern Uganda. The first time he ever saw a computer was in 2007 during a refugee registration, and after he told his mother he wanted to buy [...]

Where were you that day?

If you’re old enough to remember it, I don’t need to say any more than that for you to know what I’m talking about. Yesterday, on the anniversary of what we now simply refer to as 9/11, everyone remembered exactly where they were, what they were doing, and how they found out about the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Most of us remember other things about that day, too. How surreal it felt. How we knew instinctively that the world had [...]

By |September 12th, 2020|Achieving Dreams and Goals, Columns, Values|0 Comments

Labor Day Long Ago

One day many years ago, I was going through some old files at work and came across one labeled “Women in Labor.” It caught my eye, mainly because I was pregnant with my first child at the time. The file had nothing to do with delivering babies, however. At the time, I was working in the Communications Department of a labor union, and the file was part of a collection of research and background information on stories for articles and newsletters on different aspects of [...]

By |September 5th, 2020|Columns, Holidays|0 Comments

A Front Row Seat

This is the week of the Toastmasters Annual International Convention. It was originally supposed to be in Paris, France, but instead it’s taking place in my home office. And in kitchens, living rooms, lofts, studies, and wherever people around the world have their computers set up. For the first time ever, the Convention and all its activities – including the competition to determine the World Champion of Public Speaking – are taking place online. I’ve been to a number of International Conventions, in locations from [...]

By |August 28th, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel|0 Comments

Lessons Learned

I visited a club in Barbados last night, after meeting a woman from Barbados a few weeks ago in North Carolina. I was in North Carolina at the invitation of someone I met in Saskatchewan the week before that. He and I were the only ones who showed up at the meeting – apparently the Saskatchewans knew something we didn’t – so we chatted for half an hour and exchanged contact information before calling it a night. These meetings were all virtual, of course. I [...]

By |August 21st, 2020|Columns, Toastmasters, Travel, Values|0 Comments

A Mess and a Message

“Whenever there’s a mess like this, I try to look for the message in the mess,” my friend told me a few days ago. “And then I try to find the miracle in the message.” As you might guess, my friend is a very faith-filled person. I have seen her step out in faith when most people – myself included – would be paralyzed by fear, indecision, or doubt. The statement she made came as she was telling me about a close friend of hers [...]

By |August 14th, 2020|Columns, Faith, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments