­

Coming home

Note from Betty: Sometimes, as I'm writing my blog, I know what I want to say but the words just won't cooperate. That's what happened last week, and by the time I got the words right it was almost time for this week's blog, so I just waited till today to post it. My apologies to those who were wondering why there was no blog post last week! “Gee, but it’s great to be back home.” That’s the opening line of a Simon and Garfunkel song [...]

By |March 15th, 2019|Columns, Making a Difference, Travel, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

A cold reception and a warm welcome

I rarely catch colds – maybe once every few years or so. So naturally, I came down with one a week before we were scheduled go visit our new granddaughter. I blame my son for jinxing me. "Be sure you're getting enough Vitamin C," he said in a phone conversation a few weeks earlier. "You don't want to get sick right before you come to see the baby." What made him even think of this was the fact that his brother-in-law had been planning to visit [...]

By |March 1st, 2019|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

Warm Hearts Melt Winter’s Chill

When my husband retired and we moved to Georgia – after 40 years in the Chicago area and 18 years in Minnesota, with a few other locations in between – we often said that we’d go back to visit family and friends up north, but never in the winter. That was before our son and daughter-in-law had a baby – our first grandchild – in the middle of January, in Minnesota. We were only joking, of course – well, half-joking – when we talked about [...]

By |February 22nd, 2019|Columns, Family, Travel, Values|0 Comments

Celebrating and saying prayers

“We’re going to be a little late getting there,” Richard said as we climbed into his car and left the hotel. It was Sunday morning, and we were on our way to 8:00 Mass at the Angal Parish church in the West Nile region of Uganda. I hate arriving late anywhere, especially places like church. It popped into my head briefly that perhaps we could sneak in quietly and sit, unnoticed, in a back pew, although I knew that wasn’t very likely. For one thing, [...]

A visit to the hospital

We were sitting in the office of the Executive Director of St. Luke’s Hospital in the Nebbe District of northern Uganda, along with the Medical Director and several other department heads. Our main reason for being there was that our organization, Pathways to Hope Africa, is working with a medical equipment company in the States that is donating medical supplies and equipment to the hospital, where it is desperately needed. St. Luke’s is in one of the poorest districts in the northwest Nile region of [...]

Lots to Celebrate

They didn’t walk across the stage individually to receive their diplomas – which is a good thing, since there were more than 9,000 of them. Instead, as each area of study was presented, the graduates came out as a group, singing and dancing in celebration of their accomplishments. The graduates were women – young women mostly, but also women of all different ages – who completed community education programs throughout Wakiso District, one of the largest geographical districts in Uganda.  To understand how significant this [...]

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 long-distance lesson

“It could have been a lot worse,” we told ourselves. “At least nobody got hurt.” Well, except for the car, of course, but even that wasn’t nearly as bad as it might have been. I thought I should say that right up front, because if I started out with, “We got hit by a semi on our way to Chicago last week,” you might have gotten unduly alarmed. We had just crossed over into Indiana when an 18-wheeler next to us in the far left [...]

By |September 28th, 2018|Columns, Family, Travel|0 Comments

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 [...]

Old Friends, New Saying

“Well, butter my biscuits, that was fun!” In order to fully appreciate that statement, you need to hear it spoken with a slow, Southern drawl – which, obviously, I can’t do in print. But I repeated it often after reading the saying – the “butter my biscuits” part and several variations of it – on coffee mugs, tea towels, and wall hangings in some of the shops and boutiques I strolled through last weekend. I was with some friends I haven’t seen in a long [...]

By |August 3rd, 2018|Columns, Quotes and Sayings, Travel, Values|0 Comments