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Old friends bring new memories

Some friends of ours were visiting for a few days. This is the couple who introduced my husband and me to each other some 40-plus years ago. I’ve known the wife since first grade, and the guys have known each other since working together during summer jobs in high school. My husband and I got married exactly one year after our friends did, and we were all in each other’s wedding parties. For many years we celebrated our anniversaries together. We often went camping together, [...]

By |July 28th, 2017|Columns, Family, Values|0 Comments

A visit from a night stalker

I had a dream the other night in which I got a phone call from a young man who was commenting on one of my recent columns. His voice sounded familiar, but I couldn’t quite place him, and he wouldn’t give me his name. He was very complimentary, and referenced other columns I had written over the years, so he was obviously either a long-time reader of my column, or someone I knew personally – or with whom I had crossed paths at some point. [...]

By |July 14th, 2017|Columns, Family, Writing|0 Comments

An “oops” or two won’t spoil the fun

I accidentally bought a box of brownie mix, instead of chocolate cake mix, for a dessert I was planning to make. We got half-decaf – instead of full-strength coffee – by mistake, and didn’t realize it till we were making the first pot of coffee in a house filled with can’t-wake-up-without-it coffee drinkers. And just for good measure, it rained all afternoon and evening on Friday – starting just minutes after we got on the boat, planning to spend a few hours exploring the lake. [...]

By |July 7th, 2017|Columns, Family, Holidays, Success, Values|0 Comments

A delayed flight brings airport adventures

We were just getting out of our car in the parking garage at the Atlanta Airport when I got the text message from my sister. “Have you left for the airport yet? Because we’re going to be late.” My sister and her son were coming to visit us for a long weekend, and we were picking them up at the airport. But after they had boarded their plane in Chicago, a minor problem was discovered with a cargo door on their plane. Maintenance was still [...]

By |June 23rd, 2017|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

Sharing a Plane Ride with a Fascinating Lady

We flew to Chicago last weekend to visit my in-laws. Seated next to me on the plane was an elderly woman who reminded me of Rosa Parks. We became fast friends after I helped her with her seat belt, which was twisted in such a way that it wouldn’t fasten properly. She later returned the favor by helping me pull my tray table out of the armrest between us. We chatted, off and on, during the flight. I learned that she’s almost 91, that she’s [...]

By |June 17th, 2017|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

A small-town school makes a big, big difference

Often, when I look at what’s going on in our country and the world, I get depressed, scared, and extremely concerned about where we’re headed. At other times, however, I see things that fill me with hope and optimism for the future. Last week was one of those. I spent several days last week in a small town in Michigan, talking – and listening – to hundreds of students in dozens of classes, mostly kindergarten through middle school. I was with Tabitha, my friend from [...]

By |May 19th, 2017|Columns, Family, Making a Difference, Uganda, Values|2 Comments

Enjoying a Different Kind of “Night Out”

The sun was just starting to set as I drove home from the first meeting at my new Toastmasters club. I drove slowly, partly because I’m not entirely familiar yet with the winding roads, and partly because it was the time of day when deer often dart out into the street. We’ve already seen plenty of them, including – along the side of the road – some that didn’t quite make it across safely. When I got home, my husband was sitting out back on [...]

By |April 14th, 2017|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being|0 Comments

Everything’s different, and yet it’s all the same

These contradictory thoughts have been popping into my head often as my husband and I completed our move from Minnesota to Georgia. His final day of work was last Friday, and by Sunday we were packed up and on the road. We spent a day in Chicago visiting family, then took two days to drive down to our new home. We’ve made the drive to Chicago several times a year during the time we’ve lived in Minnesota, so we’ve gotten used to the landmarks, the [...]

By |March 10th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Family, Toastmasters, Travel|0 Comments

A final column bids a fond farewell

I’m not thinking of this as goodbye, just as a change of venue. Still, it’s a strange feeling to be writing my final column for the Chanhassen Villager. This weekend is when my husband and I pack up for good and leave for our new home in Georgia. I plan to continue writing even after we move, I’m just not sure what that’s going to look or feel like in the days and weeks to come. It’s been exactly 16 years since my first Villager [...]

Super Bowl generates stories of life and sports

“Well, there’s always next year.” I remember saying this often, especially at the end of football and baseball seasons in Chicago. Not that I was a big sports fan, but still, the end of most seasons prompted a look ahead, with hope for the future. Even though we’ve lived in several different areas of the country, and are about to relocate to another one, my husband and I have remained staunch Chicago fans in terms of sports teams. And it’s been an interesting journey, literally [...]

By |February 10th, 2017|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments