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The Best Gifts Ever

We’re back now from our Christmas travels, and enjoying the glow and the memory of several gifts we received that were better than anything we could have imagined. The best gift was that for the first time in many years we were able to spend the Christmas holiday with both of our kids at the same time. This has been pretty much impossible ever since they grew up and started jobs, lives, and families of their own, and even more so since one of them [...]

By |December 30th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Quotes and Sayings, Values|0 Comments

Enjoy the Weekend

I’ve never been one to go out on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that’s the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Besides, Black Friday has gotten kind of gray and fuzzy over the years, with “Early Bird Black Friday Sales” starting sooner and sooner.  It wouldn’t surprise me if, before too long, we’ll be seeing Black Friday sales advertised during the Labor Day weekend. Still, Black Friday remains enormously popular, and I know a number of people who make shopping on this day [...]

By |November 29th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Thanks for the Memories

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. He would have been 92 years old. Today is my grandfather’s birthday. I remember him well, but not the day he died or how old he would have been today. And next Thursday, of course, is Thanksgiving, the day we dedicate to giving thanks for our blessings. The day that reminds us to make a conscious effort to be grateful for everything we have in our lives. I’d like to suggest that we also take time to appreciate everything we [...]

By |November 22nd, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Poultry Power

When I say the word “chicken,” what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Maybe you envision an actual rooster or hen. Or perhaps it’s a plate of chicken nuggets or Kentucky Fried. You might think of a childhood bully’s taunt, daring you to try something stupid or dangerous, and then calling you a chicken when you don’t oblige. Right now, the word “chicken” takes me back to Uganda, where I spent two weeks recently, visiting commercial and family poultry farms, a hatchery, a [...]

A New Perspective

Due to a minor plumbing problem, we were without water in our house for two days last week. It was inconvenient and uncomfortable, especially since we didn’t foresee the need to fill containers or our sink with water ahead of time for drinking or washing. Still, it was indeed a minor issue, and the timing of it kept things very much in perspective. By “timing,” of course, I’m talking about this happening the same week as the catastrophic hurricane that decimated the Bahamas before turning [...]

By |September 8th, 2019|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

Sweet Dreams

The night after her funeral, I dreamed about my mother-in-law. She was sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard of the house where I lived till I was ten years old, and she was protecting us from pythons. I have no idea how pythons got into my dream. They’re not normally found in the Chicago area, where we had been for the last two weeks. And I hadn’t seen any movies or news reports lately about python invasions, although I did watch – [...]

By |September 1st, 2019|Columns, Family, Values|0 Comments

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

100 Years to Celebrate

It was a great birthday. It was a great party. My husband’s Aunt Vera turned 100 last week, and we were among the family members who traveled to Chicago to help her celebrate. Her two surviving siblings were there, and many of her nieces and nephews, some who came from as far away as California, West Virginia, and Texas. And, of course, Georgia. “Is it a surprise party?” a number of people asked when I told them why I was going out of town. My [...]

By |August 9th, 2019|Columns, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays|0 Comments

Déjà vu on the 4th of July

With a nephew who joined the Army and just left for boot camp, the 4th of July takes on a renewed significance for me – just as it did fifteen years ago when my son joined the Marines, leaving for basic training shortly after his high school graduation. Amidst all the 4th of July picnics and parades, the flags and the fireworks, I try never to lose focus of what the holiday is really about. And the fight for our independence – that took place [...]

By |July 5th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

Back at Home

I’m back. And I appreciate the thoughts, prayers, and support from those who read my blog and knew nothing except that I was going out of town unexpectedly, and would not be posting any blogs for a few weeks. The suddenness of our leaving town was due to a medical emergency with my mother-in-law, who was in and out of the hospital – and back in again – in the time we were there with her. That trip led directly into another one that we [...]

By |June 9th, 2019|Columns, Family, Travel, Values|0 Comments