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Back to school – and loving it

I’m going back to school. High school, that is, and today was my first day. One of the organizations I’ve gotten involved with here is the Georgia Writers Museum. It’s part museum, focusing mainly on three famous authors who were born in this area (Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor, and Joel Chandler Harris), and part Writers Center offering classes and other programs for writers of all ages and stages. A new program just getting started is called “Growing Up Creative in a Small Town,” and it’s [...]

By |December 8th, 2017|Columns, Making a Difference, Writing|0 Comments

Three thousand miles led to a world of difference

I logged in almost 3,000 miles this week, starting with a two-hour drive to the Atlanta airport, then a flight to Minneapolis, and finally a scenic drive from there across the Canadian border and on to Winnipeg. There I spoke - along with two other women - for approximately 20 minutes to the Rotary Club of Winnipeg. After the meeting, we got back in the car and did the trip in reverse. Not all at once, but over the course of a few days. It [...]

Plant some love, and watch it grow

“We take love out into the community.” Of all the statements I heard last Saturday night, that is the one that touched me the most – and has stayed with me ever since. My husband and I were at a Wine and Cheese gathering for new parishioners at our church. We met a number of other new members there, as well as some long-time parishioners. And we chatted with some of the people we see regularly at Mass, but had never officially met before. In [...]

By |September 29th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Values|0 Comments

We can all be Harvey’s heroes

Katrina. Sandy. Harvey. I wish I were reading those names from a list of the most popular baby names of the year. But that’s not where they came from, and there’s likely not a person in America today who doesn’t recognize what they are. Hurricane Harvey is the most recent storm to wreak havoc on everyone in and beyond its path. I’m having a difficult time writing about it now, not because it’s such an emotional and heart-wrenching subject – although it is – but [...]

By |September 1st, 2017|Columns, Making a Difference, Values|0 Comments

It’s a difficult road, but a rewarding journey

Sometimes the path we’re on in life is a frustrating, uphill battle. At other times, things are going so well and happening so quickly that we are in awe of the angels and opportunities that have been put in our path to help us. Both have been true – sometimes at the same time – with regard to the work I’m involved in in Uganda. It was October of 2011 when I took the first of four – so far – trips to Uganda with [...]

By |June 9th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Uganda, Values|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

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 [...]

An unusual weekend was a weekend well-spent

I spent last weekend in Glenwood, MN, with a fascinating group of people: the Ugandan Ambassador to the United Nations, my Uganda-born friends Tabitha and Magala, local dignitaries and business leaders, and our security detail. I’ve never been part of any group or activity requiring a security detail, and I was a bit intimidated at first. But it quickly became both comforting and reassuring to know they were there as we went about our business. Not that there was anything dangerous or covert about that [...]

It’s going to be a merciful summer

It was a Freudian slip. I meant to say, “corporal works of mercy.” But “corporate works of mercy” is what came out instead. I was with several women in my Cursillo group, and we had just decided that we wanted to read a book together over the summer, and discuss it at our weekly meetings. We chose “Beautiful Mercy—Experiencing God’s Unconditional Love So We Can Share It With Others.” The book is a series of essays by different writers, each on the subject of one [...]

By |June 3rd, 2016|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Values|0 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 [...]