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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

Giving and Going

“Some people give by going,” our pastor told the congregation recently, “and some people go by giving.” He was talking about an upcoming mission trip, and about the different ways people help and support such efforts. Although I had never heard that quote before, I certainly agreed with it. In fact, it made me think of one of my trips to Uganda a few years ago. While we were there, we distributed some items that had been donated by people back in the States – [...]

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 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

A great day

I had the pleasure and privilege yesterday of working with a young woman to help her prepare for an upcoming speech contest. Her story is an inspiring one of some of the issues and obstacles she had to deal with while growing up, and of how she overcame them – as well as the insecurity and self-consciousness she felt because of them. She expressed gratitude for the people and organizations that helped her along the way, and described how they inspired and motivated her. She [...]

My kind of rain

“This is your kind of rain,” my husband said. “I’m surprised you’re not standing by the door watching it.” He was right – it was my kind of rain, even though I hadn’t realized I had a “kind of rain” of my own, or that he would recognize it as such. It was a strong but gentle rain – the steady, consistent kind that comes without any wind or lightning and thunder. The kind that comes straight down and bounces off the pavement after hitting [...]

By |November 2nd, 2018|Columns, Health and Well-being, Respect, Values|0 Comments