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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

A cold reception and a warm welcome

I rarely catch colds – maybe once every few years or so. So naturally, I came down with one a week before we were scheduled go visit our new granddaughter. I blame my son for jinxing me. "Be sure you're getting enough Vitamin C," he said in a phone conversation a few weeks earlier. "You don't want to get sick right before you come to see the baby." What made him even think of this was the fact that his brother-in-law had been planning to visit [...]

By |March 1st, 2019|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

Warm Hearts Melt Winter’s Chill

When my husband retired and we moved to Georgia – after 40 years in the Chicago area and 18 years in Minnesota, with a few other locations in between – we often said that we’d go back to visit family and friends up north, but never in the winter. That was before our son and daughter-in-law had a baby – our first grandchild – in the middle of January, in Minnesota. We were only joking, of course – well, half-joking – when we talked about [...]

By |February 22nd, 2019|Columns, Family, Travel, 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, [...]

It’s the beginning of a new life

Just call me Grandma. Our son and daughter-in-law just had a baby girl – their first child, and our first grandchild. She arrived almost a week past her due date, healthy and perfect. We haven’t seen her yet in person, but we are savoring – and showing off – the photos we’ve received. We can’t wait to visit them, after the new family has had a chance to settle in, get acquainted, and get used to a new life and routine at home. Most of [...]

By |January 19th, 2019|Columns, Family|0 Comments

Lots to Celebrate

They didn’t walk across the stage individually to receive their diplomas – which is a good thing, since there were more than 9,000 of them. Instead, as each area of study was presented, the graduates came out as a group, singing and dancing in celebration of their accomplishments. The graduates were women – young women mostly, but also women of all different ages – who completed community education programs throughout Wakiso District, one of the largest geographical districts in Uganda.  To understand how significant this [...]

Gifts that Can’t be Wrapped

The theme of our Toastmasters meeting this week was “Holiday Traditions—the Profound, the Silly, and Everything In Between.” Our Toastmaster shared a holiday tradition his family practices, which is to give each other gifts you can’t wrap. As soon as he mentioned this, my mind immediately envisioned large or odd-shaped gifts that are difficult to wrap. Or were, before the invention of gift bags. But that’s not the kind of gift he was talking about. He explained by telling us first of the grandma who [...]

By |November 30th, 2018|Columns, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

The Thanksgiving Question

“So— What are you doing for Thanksgiving?” It’s a common question at this time of year. With the mobile society we live in today, and with family members spread out across the country from each other, there are many more options than everyone gathering at Grandma’s house, which was a lot more common in days gone by. Not that it isn’t still an option. Many of our friends and neighbors have children and grandchildren, and for some of them, their house is where everyone comes [...]

By |November 17th, 2018|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

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

Weathering Another Storm

I had an “emergency post” ready to pop in for my blog this week, in case I wasn’t able to write a regular one. Here’s how it would have started: “If you’re reading this, it means our power is out due to the hurricane – again.” Fortunately, I didn’t have to use it. Although we were in the path of Hurricane Michael, it didn’t hit us as hard as Irma did last year, knocking down trees and power lines, and leaving us without water or [...]

By |October 12th, 2018|Columns, Family|0 Comments