­

Making good on stolen goods

It wasn’t anything close to a felony. Even as misdemeanors go, it was pretty minor. Still, I didn’t want it forever on my record. Or, even worse, my conscience. My husband and I were returning home from an 800-mile road trip. I bought a cup of coffee at a gas stop along the way, and on my way out of the store, I glanced at a rack of maps and brochures—the kind of promotional and complimentary material found at many rest stops and convenience stores [...]

By |August 18th, 2017|Accountability, Columns, Travel, Values|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

Old friends bring new memories

Some friends of ours were visiting for a few days. This is the couple who introduced my husband and me to each other some 40-plus years ago. I’ve known the wife since first grade, and the guys have known each other since working together during summer jobs in high school. My husband and I got married exactly one year after our friends did, and we were all in each other’s wedding parties. For many years we celebrated our anniversaries together. We often went camping together, [...]

By |July 28th, 2017|Columns, Family, Values|0 Comments

An “oops” or two won’t spoil the fun

I accidentally bought a box of brownie mix, instead of chocolate cake mix, for a dessert I was planning to make. We got half-decaf – instead of full-strength coffee – by mistake, and didn’t realize it till we were making the first pot of coffee in a house filled with can’t-wake-up-without-it coffee drinkers. And just for good measure, it rained all afternoon and evening on Friday – starting just minutes after we got on the boat, planning to spend a few hours exploring the lake. [...]

By |July 7th, 2017|Columns, Family, Holidays, Success, 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 different time brings a better outlook

During my first trip to Uganda several years ago, I learned all about being on “Uganda time.” This had nothing to do with clocks or time zones. It was more about the practical realities of getting to your destination – not necessarily when you wanted to be there or were supposed to be there, but when you were able to. Many people had to walk or ride bikes wherever they were going, so weather and other factors had a big impact. But everyone understood this, [...]

By |May 12th, 2017|Columns, Uganda, Values|0 Comments

Times change

My alarm clock was particularly jarring when it went off this morning. Not because it woke me up out of a sound sleep – I was actually already awake – but because I hardly ever hear it anymore. Since my husband retired and we moved to Georgia a month ago, there have been only a few times when we’ve even set our alarm clock. This morning, it was because we were expecting a delivery that was scheduled for early in the day, and we wanted [...]

By |April 7th, 2017|Columns, Values|0 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 [...]

Changing weather can change our perspective

Like many people here in Minnesota, I spent much of last weekend enjoying – and marveling at – our unseasonably warm weather. The most common refrain from everyone was, “This is February? It feels like Spring!” It seemed almost surreal to go out wearing a sweater or light jacket instead of a heavy winter coat. I went on an outing downtown with some friends on Sunday, and they laughed when they came to pick me up and found me sitting outside in a lawn chair, [...]

By |February 24th, 2017|Columns, Values|0 Comments