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A Peaceful Goodbye

“She’s transitioning,” the nurse told us, which was a lot more comforting to hear than, “She’s dying.” “Transitioning” made it sound as if she were simply moving from one phase of life to another, and that’s actually what she was doing. A booklet given to us by the hospice chaplain contained a poem that described dying in terms of a ship sailing away toward the horizon, getting smaller and smaller in our sight, but not in reality. On a far distant shore, one beyond our [...]

By |August 23rd, 2019|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being|0 Comments

Tears and Prayers for Notre Dame

My first-ever trip abroad was with a tour group to Paris in 2005. We had a full and glorious itinerary, visiting the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Monet’s Garden, Sacre Coeur, and other famous and not-so-famous-but-still-wonderful sites. Sadly, Notre Dame was not among them. It was on our original itinerary, but the day we left the States for Paris was the day Pope John Paul II died. In the following days and weeks, Catholic churches around the world – including Notre Dame, of course – [...]

By |April 20th, 2019|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Travel|0 Comments

Driving Through Stormy Weather

It was just starting to drizzle as I got to my car after a meeting of my church group. I wasn’t carrying an umbrella, because it had been sunny and clear when the meeting started – although, to be honest, I rarely carry an umbrella anyway. If it looks like it’s going to rain, I usually just wear a jacket with a hood. As I got in my car, I could see dark, angry-looking clouds racing across the sky. There’s a nasty storm coming, I [...]

By |March 31st, 2019|Columns, Faith|0 Comments

A Quiet Goodbye

A friend of mine told me a story the other day that she warned me was going to be sad, but uplifting at the same time. She had been working on a craft project, and had that on her mind as she was going up and down the stairs retrieving supplies from different areas of the house. Because she was concentrating on that, she almost didn’t hear the quiet voice that whispered something inside her head. It was her mother’s voice – her mother who [...]

By |March 22nd, 2019|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

Celebrating and saying prayers

“We’re going to be a little late getting there,” Richard said as we climbed into his car and left the hotel. It was Sunday morning, and we were on our way to 8:00 Mass at the Angal Parish church in the West Nile region of Uganda. I hate arriving late anywhere, especially places like church. It popped into my head briefly that perhaps we could sneak in quietly and sit, unnoticed, in a back pew, although I knew that wasn’t very likely. For one thing, [...]

You’ve been here HOW long??

“A year and a half? You’ve only been here a year and a half? It seems like much longer.” I’ve heard that from several people just in the past few weeks, and I’m taking it as a compliment – even though I suppose it could be interpreted as, “It seems like we’ve been putting up with you a lot longer than that.” It’s actually been one year and seven months – if you want to be precise – since we moved to Georgia after 18 [...]

By |October 26th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Family, Toastmasters, Values, Writing|0 Comments

Work by any other name…

“So—Are you retired, too, or are you still working?” A lot of people have asked me that in the year and a half since my husband retired and we moved to Georgia. And I’m never sure what to say. For one thing, I’ve done freelance work for a number of years, and it’s the kind of work I can do from anywhere. All I really need are a phone and a computer. And, of course, clients. How actively I want to pursue acquiring clients is [...]

A difficult question, a simple answer

This column was written after my last trip to Uganda, in 2014. It was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/18/14. I still have difficulty answering a question that many people have asked me about my trip to Uganda last month: What did I do while I was there? I can list many of my actions and activities. Spending time with the young women in Ki-Mombasa that we are helping to break free from a life of poverty and prostitution. Distributing books, handmade dresses and teddy [...]

In need of a miracle, and of people who care

This column was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on 11/17/11, shortly after I returned from my first trip to Uganda. The young women I wrote about have become the focus of most of our work in Uganda; our goal is to help them build a better life for themselves and their children. You'll hear more about them after I return from this trip. They are beautiful young women. Girls, actually, with many of them between the ages of 18 and 25, and some even younger. They [...]

A day lost in meaning

The car radio was on as we drove to the health club yesterday morning. I wasn’t paying much attention to the commercial promoting a big sale, and couldn’t even tell you who the advertiser was. But the closing line caught my attention, telling listeners to “stop in today, and make it a great Good Friday.” That made me cringe. I immediately thought of the Bible verse about Jesus overturning tables and chasing the moneychangers out of the temple, saying, “My house shall be called a [...]

By |March 31st, 2018|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Values|0 Comments