An Unusual Way to End the Day

“We’ll be starting the meeting with a brief yoga session.” These are not words I expected to hear prior to a meeting I recently attended via Zoom. Especially since the meeting had nothing to do with exercise, meditation, or health and well-being. Still, I was game, so I put my exercise mat in front of the computer, put on a pair of stretchy, comfortable pants – not yoga pants, officially, but they would do – and got ready for the session. The meeting was a [...]

By |August 2nd, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters|0 Comments

A Close-Up Look

Note: Due to a glitch in the system, I don't think this went out yesterday (Friday) when I originally posted it, so I am resending it. If you're actually receiving it a second time, my apologies. Please don't feel obligated to read it again. However, I think it's important enough that you may want to! I was planning on writing what would have been a mildly humorous blog today, but then I got an email from Tom Kephart, a friend who’s also an Emergency Room [...]

By |July 24th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being|0 Comments


Not long ago, my book club read A Gentleman in Moscow, a novel about a man who was put under house arrest by the Bolsheviks in 1922, and ordered to spend the rest of his life in the elegant hotel he had been living in for several years. He was warned that if he set foot outside the hotel, he would be shot. I’m starting to understand how he felt. Not about getting shot if I step outside, of course, and certainly not the “elegant [...]

By |June 26th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being|0 Comments

A nod and a smile could lift our hearts

“My head understands it, but it was hard on my heart.” I heard that last night from a woman in British Columbia. I was attending a special “Pandemic Presentations” Toastmasters meeting via Zoom, and the person giving the speech – who is single and lives alone in her apartment – was talking about the feelings of isolation she was experiencing while social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. At one point, she talked about how she feels when she goes outside for a walk and some [...]

By |June 19th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

A plea for help

My blog this week is a plea for help, one that will benefit people in desperate circumstances in one of the poorest countries in the world. Yet it has to do with the medical crisis that is affecting us all – here in the United States and around the world, including the Nakivale Refugee Settlement in Southwest Uganda. Those who have been regular readers of my column and blog know about my work in Uganda with Pathways to Hope Africa, including several trips to the [...]

A Different Mother’s Day

I think it was Erma Bombeck who said, “Mother’s Day is the day on which the family gathers together to thank their mom for everything she does – like cook a big Mother’s Day dinner for everyone.” Actually, Mother’s Day is a day on which many families traditionally take Mom out for brunch or dinner, so she doesn’t have to cook. But there’s nothing traditional about Mother’s Day this year. Most restaurants around the country are still closed, or unavailable for in-house dining. Travel is [...]

Creative Coping

“Creative Coping” was the theme of our Toastmasters meeting the other night. I think that’s a good description of all of our lives right now. (Our meetings, by the way, are held online via Zoom for the time being, which is how we are creatively coping with stay-at-home orders and guidelines.) Day by day and week by week, we’re all finding and implementing new ways to cope with the restrictions meant to keep us safe and to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Along the [...]

Sight and Insight

Have you ever watched a movie or TV show in which someone is temporarily blinded or paralyzed, or loses their hearing due to an accident, explosion, or shoot-out? There’s always a dramatic scene as the bandages are removed, and everyone watches, holding their breath, to find out if the patient will be able to see, hear, or walk again. I’ll never forget an episode of the TV show M*A*S*H in which Hawkeye, the main character and head surgeon, is blinded by an exploding water heater. [...]

By |April 17th, 2020|Columns, Health and Well-being, Values|0 Comments

New Traditions

A tradition is, by definition, something that is repeated year after year. Even so, traditions change over time. Kids grow up and go off on their own, families that used to live within a few miles of each other are now spread out across the country, and lifestyles of days gone by simply don’t fit our way of life anymore. Easter, like Christmas, has both sacred and secular traditions, and I now find myself thinking about all the Easter traditions I have taken part in [...]

By |April 10th, 2020|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being, Holidays, Values|0 Comments

Diamonds in the Rough

One of the speaking programs I used to do was titled, “Where Do Diamonds Come From? A Lump of Coal and a Lot of Pressure.” The inspiration for the title of the program came from an old television series, The Adventures of Superman, ­that ran in the 1950s. People of a certain age – meaning my age or older – will remember the many episodes in which Superman took a piece of coal, squeezed it, and opened his hand to reveal a sparkly diamond. The [...]