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Learning other languages is no joke

What do you call a person who speaks two languages? (Answer: Bilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks three languages? (Answer: Trilingual.) What do you call a person who speaks one language? (Answer: American.) It’s an old joke, but there’s probably as much truth as jest in it. I was thinking about that when I was in Uganda, where I am always amazed at the number of different languages that are spoken in a relatively small country, and the number of people who [...]

By |June 15th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Uganda|0 Comments

Enjoying a day of music, mangoes, and memories

This post is about one of my favorite days, and favorite memories, out of all my trips to Uganda. I wrote it after my second trip, and the column was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/27/12. Although it was close to midnight when we got home the night before, we were on the road again at 6:30 in the morning, traveling from Kampala to Iganga for my 9:00 program. I would be speaking to teachers at Buckley High School, which is actually a highly acclaimed [...]

A tribute to Sheri

I didn’t know Sheri very long or very well. But it was long and well enough to know she was a very special lady. We first met when I joined our neighborhood book club. At the first meeting I attended, we chatted quite a bit before the book discussion got going, and talked as much about writing as we did about reading. Sheri was an active member of the Georgia Writers Museum, which I was interested in but hadn’t been to yet. Our book club [...]

Oprah for President?

Like many people, I watched the Golden Globe Awards last Sunday night, and was blown away by Oprah Winfrey’s speech as she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement. It was inspiring, empowering, and it made me feel as though, yes, a new day is dawning, and the world is about to change for the better. At no point did it occur to me, however, that this was a political speech, or the launch of a political career for Oprah. That changed the [...]

By |January 12th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Respect, Values|0 Comments

I’m hooked for life

It’s like riding a bicycle – you never forget how. That’s how I felt recently when I picked up a crochet hook, bought a few skeins of yarn and a new pattern book, and crocheted a baby blanket for some friends of my son who were expecting their first child. Then I made another one for my daughter’s sister-in-law, who is due next month. And now I’m off and running. My grandmother tried teaching me how to crochet when I was young, but it never [...]

By |June 2nd, 2017|Columns, Gifts and Talents|0 Comments

It’s party time! And you’re invited.

A friend of mine, who’s also a long-time reader of my column, asked me a while ago if there were any send-off events in the works as I prepare to move out-of-state. If there weren’t, she said she’d love to help organize one. I hadn’t thought about anything like that, but I was trying to plan a book launch party to celebrate the book I recently published, which includes a number of the columns I’ve written over the years. I’ve been to several book launches, [...]

By |February 17th, 2017|Buried Treasure, Columns, Gifts and Talents, Writing|0 Comments

Make your plans, and celebrate your life

In addition to all the holiday plans and preparations everyone is busy with at this time of year, many people take some time to look back at what they’ve accomplished and experienced in the past year, and to look forward as they plan for the future and all that they’d like to accomplish and experience in the coming year. I’ve never been able to sit down and plan out my short-term and long-term goals in terms of six-month, one-year, and five-year projections.  Whenever I’m asked [...]

Buried treasure becomes a book

It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing, and that I’ve started a number of times but never quite finished. I’ve helped others do it, and I’ve done it twice as part of a larger group, but never on my own – until now. I’ve just published my first book. I don’t know which was more exciting, holding an actual copy of the book with my name on the cover, or seeing the book listed on Amazon, which made me feel like a “real author” [...]

A writers retreat brought new ideas and insights

A soft, gentle rain was falling, the kind that makes me want to curl up under a fuzzy blanket and listen to mellow oldies on the radio. Or sit out on a screened-in porch with a glass of wine and a good book or an empty journal just waiting to be filled with my own thoughts and reflections. It was a great way to start the Writers Retreat I attended last weekend. The retreat was put on by the women writers group I belong to, [...]

By |June 10th, 2016|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Writing|2 Comments

How others see us can open our eyes

I had just finished a presentation for the staff at a Senior Living Community, when one of the attendees came up to me and said, “You know, you could be a pastor.” I was flattered by her words, and more than a little surprised. No one’s ever said anything like that before. People have told me they were inspired or motivated by my programs, or that I gave them a new way of thinking or looking at things. Some later told me of changes they [...]