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In a World of Our Own

Australia… Bahrain… Canada… China… Denmark… France… If you’re anything like me and you’ve ever seen the opening ceremony of the Olympics, you get a lump in your throat as you watch the Parade of Nations. I love seeing the athletes parade into the stadium, dressed in their team colors, and proudly displaying the flag of their country as they wave enthusiastically to those who are watching – from the stadium and from around the world. Germany… Guyana… Haiti… Hungary… India… Indonesia… As far as I’m [...]

Looking forward to an international event

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be at this year’s Toastmasters International Convention. I’ve attended several International Conventions in the past, and was amazed at how many people I met, how much I learned from them, and how much I enjoyed the experience. But then life got in the way, and it’s been a long time since I’ve attended one. As you might expect, I’m really excited to be going this year! One of the things I remember most from my first International Convention [...]

By |August 24th, 2018|Columns, Respect, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

Dreaming about a Sign of the Times

I dreamed last night that I was out of town on a “girls’ weekend” with a friend of mine from Minnesota. Two other friends of hers were joining us – people I had never met. One of them was deaf, and used sign language to communicate. While we were waiting for them to show up, my friend showed me how to sign a greeting. I don’t remember what the actual message was in my dream, but I remember the main gesture. It involved holding my [...]

By |August 10th, 2018|Columns, Respect|0 Comments

A rainy day leads to a sunny outlook

The weather was sunny and dry when we left home, but clouded up on our way to the grocery store. It was drizzling when we went in, and pouring when we came out. People were racing to and from the store holding umbrellas over their grocery carts and themselves. “You wait here,” my husband said. “I’ll go get the car.” There was a long line of people with full grocery carts waiting near the entrance to the store, and I joined them. There was also [...]

By |July 20th, 2018|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments

In need of a miracle, and of people who care

This column was first published in the Chanhassen Villager on 11/17/11, shortly after I returned from my first trip to Uganda. The young women I wrote about have become the focus of most of our work in Uganda; our goal is to help them build a better life for themselves and their children. You'll hear more about them after I return from this trip. They are beautiful young women. Girls, actually, with many of them between the ages of 18 and 25, and some even younger. They [...]

An act of kindness cuts both ways

I saw a story in the news last week about a waitress at a Waffle House restaurant in Texas who went above and beyond to assist a customer who needed a helping hand – literally. The elderly man was having trouble cutting up his food, and told the waitress that his hands were “not functioning too well.” She immediately picked up a knife and fork and cut up his food for him. Another customer saw this act of kindness, took a picture of it, and [...]

By |March 23rd, 2018|Columns, Respect, Values|2 Comments

Miracles in Uganda

“The day was filled with miracle after miracle.” That’s what my friend Tabitha told me on the phone the other day. She was calling from Uganda, where she’s doing some prep and planning for the work we’ll do when she and I – along with several others – go back in a few months. For those who aren’t familiar with my work or my story, Tabitha and I have been on a mission ever since she read an article in a Ugandan newspaper about a [...]

By |February 24th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Making a Difference, Respect, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

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

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 [...]

Can’t we calmly agree to disagree?

You can disagree without being disagreeable. This has always been one of my firm beliefs, and it’s something I’ve always tried to live by. It breaks my heart that it’s a practice that seems to be getting less and less common every day – and in everyday matters, not just hot-button topics like religion and politics. Still, we’ve had more than our fair share lately of evidence in that last category. That’s why an experience I had last week was so refreshing and reassuring. It [...]

By |November 18th, 2016|Columns, Respect, Values|0 Comments