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Work by any other name…

“So—Are you retired, too, or are you still working?” A lot of people have asked me that in the year and a half since my husband retired and we moved to Georgia. And I’m never sure what to say. For one thing, I’ve done freelance work for a number of years, and it’s the kind of work I can do from anywhere. All I really need are a phone and a computer. And, of course, clients. How actively I want to pursue acquiring clients is [...]

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

The best part of summer

“Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” It’s a line from a song in the musical, Porgy and Bess, and it was also the theme of both our Toastmasters meeting this week, and the Table Topics portion of the meeting. During Table Topics, one person will ask a question or make a comment, and then call on another member to respond. That person has to talk on the subject for 1-2 minutes. Table Topics gives us all a chance to practice thinking on our feet, and [...]

By |August 17th, 2018|Columns, Family, Holidays, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

One-Year Reflections

My husband’s last day of work was Friday, March 3, of last year. Two days later, we were in our packed-up car, driving south to Georgia. Which means we have just passed the one-year anniversary of his retirement and our move to our new home. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s been a year already. In other ways, I can’t believe it’s only been a year. That’s often the way it is when we view things in hindsight. We go through life day by [...]

By |March 9th, 2018|Columns, Toastmasters, Writing|0 Comments

Who IS that???

"I know that person. I can't quite place him, but I know him from somewhere." Has that ever happened to you? You're out and about, and you run into someone who looks very familiar, or that you know you've met - or at least seen before - but you just can't remember when or where. It happened to me last weekend, with a gentleman who was ushering and assisting at Mass. I was sure I knew him from somewhere else, but couldn't figure out where - which is strange, [...]

By |August 11th, 2017|Columns, Toastmasters, Values|0 Comments

A humiliating experience wasn’t as bad as it seemed

I went through a totally humiliating experience this week. Worse, it was entirely self-inflicted. And just for good measure, it was in front of people I respect and admire, even though I don’t really know them very well yet. It happened during a meeting of my new Toastmasters club. I was giving my first speech to the group – one that’s known as the “icebreaker” and that’s meant to help new members get comfortable with speaking. It also lets the rest of the club get [...]

By |May 26th, 2017|Columns, Toastmasters|0 Comments

Everything’s different, and yet it’s all the same

These contradictory thoughts have been popping into my head often as my husband and I completed our move from Minnesota to Georgia. His final day of work was last Friday, and by Sunday we were packed up and on the road. We spent a day in Chicago visiting family, then took two days to drive down to our new home. We’ve made the drive to Chicago several times a year during the time we’ve lived in Minnesota, so we’ve gotten used to the landmarks, the [...]

By |March 10th, 2017|Columns, Faith, Family, Toastmasters, Travel|0 Comments

Never get bored of education

I was at St. Catherine’s last Saturday, taking part in a Toastmasters Leadership Institute. I wasn’t familiar with the campus, and it took me a little while to find the correct building. I thought I was being clever by simply following the line of cars pulling into one of the parking lots, until I found out they were there for a volleyball tournament, not the Toastmasters program. It was a bit of a distance to the building I actually needed to be in, but I [...]

By |February 3rd, 2017|Columns, Family, Toastmasters|0 Comments

A lesson in integrity comes from an unexpected source

They spoke with eloquence and a bit of humor. They spoke with wisdom and a lot of experience. They were members of a new Toastmasters club, and were giving a presentation at our recent Toastmasters conference. The man who transported them to the conference waited in the back of the room till they were done speaking, at which time he would take them back to prison. The three presenters were from a nearby Federal Prison Camp, a minimum security facility that the men now call [...]

By |November 25th, 2016|Accountability, Columns, Family, Toastmasters, Values|2 Comments