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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 [...]

It’s party time! And you’re invited.

A friend of mine, who’s also a long-time reader of my column, asked me a while ago if there were any send-off events in the works as I prepare to move out-of-state. If there weren’t, she said she’d love to help organize one. I hadn’t thought about anything like that, but I was trying to plan a book launch party to celebrate the book I recently published, which includes a number of the columns I’ve written over the years. I’ve been to several book launches, [...]

By |February 17th, 2017|Buried Treasure, Columns, Gifts and Talents, Writing|0 Comments

Buried treasure becomes a book

It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing, and that I’ve started a number of times but never quite finished. I’ve helped others do it, and I’ve done it twice as part of a larger group, but never on my own – until now. I’ve just published my first book. I don’t know which was more exciting, holding an actual copy of the book with my name on the cover, or seeing the book listed on Amazon, which made me feel like a “real author” [...]

A writers retreat brought new ideas and insights

A soft, gentle rain was falling, the kind that makes me want to curl up under a fuzzy blanket and listen to mellow oldies on the radio. Or sit out on a screened-in porch with a glass of wine and a good book or an empty journal just waiting to be filled with my own thoughts and reflections. It was a great way to start the Writers Retreat I attended last weekend. The retreat was put on by the women writers group I belong to, [...]

By |June 10th, 2016|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Writing|2 Comments

The answer to a prayer makes a perfect holiday story

A friend of mine posted the details of a recent experience she had, and the story was so heartwarming and uplifting – not to mention perfect during the holiday season – I knew I had to share it with others. I told her I wanted to write about it, and she graciously gave me her permission. The story ended with someone’s prayer being answered. And it started a few miles away from a home improvement store. That’s where my friend first drove past an elderly, [...]

By |December 18th, 2015|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Making a Difference, Values, Writing|0 Comments

Speaking of dreams, a familiar one returns

It happened again. I taught a class one evening this week, and it was a presentation I’ve been preparing for and looking forward to for quite a while. But two nights before the program, I had a dream in which the class was about to begin, and I suddenly realized that I didn’t have any of my notes or materials with me. In a moment of panic, I briefly considered driving home and returning with everything I needed, but I didn’t have enough time to [...]

Writing about books leads to a “readcation”

It was ironic that just a day or so after I turned in last week’s column, I came across a blog that suggested taking a “readcation.” Ironic because my column was about books – reading them, buying them, borrowing them from the library – and because writing the column forced me to take a good, hard look at all the shelves, end tables, nightstands, and other places in my house that are overloaded with books. I was surprised by the amount of feedback I got [...]

By |October 30th, 2015|Columns, Writing|0 Comments

“Naughty Barb” starts a nice conversation

A friend of mine has a new nickname: “Naughty Barb.” This is especially funny to the people who know her, since she is probably one of the nicest people on the planet. She is caring and compassionate, strong and supportive, with a genuine concern for others and a willingness to share her own painful stories and experiences if they will be of benefit to others in any way. She is also a “connector” and loves to put people who can help each other in touch [...]

By |October 9th, 2015|Columns, Writing|2 Comments

Staying silent might be a problem

Have you ever watched a movie or sitcom in which someone has a loud, emotional outburst in a noisy and crowded restaurant, and then suddenly realizes everyone in the entire place has gotten silent and is staring at him? Or one in which someone is alone, having a lively conversation with himself while engrossed in some mundane chore, and then he looks up to find a room full of people watching and listening to him? Or worse, he sees only one person – the one [...]

By |July 17th, 2015|Columns, Faith, Writing|0 Comments

Personal stories have a powerful impact

The first words I heard when I woke up Sunday morning were these: “When we share our personal stories, we’re able to keep kids off drugs and alcohol.” That caught my attention immediately – not the drugs and alcohol part, but the “personal stories” part. The alarm on my clock-radio had gone off in the middle of what was obviously an interview with someone from a mentoring or support program. I would have liked to listen to more of it, but I needed to get [...]

By |November 14th, 2014|Columns, Writing|0 Comments