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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

‘Tis the season…

We’re just a few weeks away from Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. But in some ways, it feels like summer has already begun. We attended a graduation party yesterday for one of our neighbors who just finished college, and will soon be off to nursing school. In a few weeks we’ll be attending another graduation party – this one for our nephew. Since he enlisted in the Army, his high school graduation will not only be a celebration of his accomplishments, but a [...]

By |May 10th, 2019|Columns, Family, Holidays|0 Comments

Tears and Prayers for Notre Dame

My first-ever trip abroad was with a tour group to Paris in 2005. We had a full and glorious itinerary, visiting the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Monet’s Garden, Sacre Coeur, and other famous and not-so-famous-but-still-wonderful sites. Sadly, Notre Dame was not among them. It was on our original itinerary, but the day we left the States for Paris was the day Pope John Paul II died. In the following days and weeks, Catholic churches around the world – including Notre Dame, of course – [...]

By |April 20th, 2019|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Travel|0 Comments

A Resolution Report

Although I wouldn’t expect anyone to notice, there was something missing for me at the beginning of the year. Ever since 2001, when I first began writing a weekly newspaper column, I started each year with a column or blog about my New Year’s Resolutions. (Yes, I’m one of the people who still makes them.) But this year, I didn’t. I don’t mean I didn’t make a New Year’s Resolution, just that I didn’t write about it. The reason had nothing to do with the [...]

The week before Christmas

‘Twas the week before Christmas, and all through the night, I had fitfully slept on a long airline flight From Uganda to Amsterdam, and then to Atlanta Where I’d finally be home to await our own Santa. The couple beside me were speaking in Dutch, So we nodded a greeting, but didn’t say much. I knew none of their language, they knew little of mine. But we somehow communicated, and things worked out fine. At one point, the wife tried to turn on her light. [...]

By |December 29th, 2018|Columns, Holidays, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A View to Remember

PLEASE NOTE: I’m taking a break from my blog for the rest of December, so this will be my last post until after Christmas. I hope you have a warm and wonderful holiday season!   I woke up a few days ago to a view so stunning I had to run outside – in my pajamas – to take a photo. This happens every so often, and my usual experience is that no matter how hard I try, or how quickly I move, I’m never [...]

By |December 7th, 2018|Columns, Holidays|0 Comments

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

A Simple Gesture

A friend posted something on Facebook recently that really warmed my heart.  She had been in a coffee shop with several friends, discussing a difficult decision she had to make, and apparently got a bit teary-eyed while talking about it. A little later, a young woman stopped by their table on her way out, with a piece of coffeecake for my friend, telling her she hoped it would make her day a little better. I’m sure it did. And I’m going to try to keep [...]

By |November 23rd, 2018|Columns, Holidays, Making a Difference, Values|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