Oh, those bells!

I heard some church bells ringing the other day, and – perhaps because it’s the Christmas season – it made me think of a column I wrote long ago. I dug it out of my files and reread it, and realized it was just as appropriate today as it was then. I hope it inspires some fond memories for you. Christmas bells bring music, memories, and peace “Christmas bells, those Christmas bells, ringing through the land. Bringing peace to all the world. And good will [...]

By |December 11th, 2022|Columns, Faith, Holidays, Music/Singing, Values|Comments Off on Oh, those bells!

A Mile in My Shoes

“I thought I knew every Elvis song there was,” my sister wrote the other day. But she had heard one that was new to her, although it was the choir at her church that was singing it. The song was “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,” and the chorus goes, “Walk a mile in my shoes. Walk a mile in my shoes. Before you abuse, criticize and accuse, walk a mile in my shoes.” This isn’t a new idea, and it wasn’t a new idea [...]

By |September 28th, 2019|Columns, Music/Singing, Quotes and Sayings, Respect, Values|Comments Off on A Mile in My Shoes

An Extraordinary, Ordinary Evening

It was a perfect night for stargazing. The heat and humidity of the day had dissipated, and the sky was clear and bright. We weren’t scheduled for one of the major astronomical events that occur regularly, like the Perseid or Leonid meteor showers, or for a once-in-a-lifetime event like a super-blood-red-total-lunar-eclipse-moon. But when our neighbors invited a group of us over to enjoy the night sky and each other’s company, we were all in. “Bring your binoculars,” they said. It was still light out when [...]

By |July 26th, 2019|Columns, Health and Well-being, Music/Singing, Values|Comments Off on An Extraordinary, Ordinary Evening

Guitar Lessons

I just bought a guitar. The decision wasn’t totally out of the blue, although it wasn’t exactly on my bucket list, either. I’ve always enjoyed music. I took piano lessons when I was in grade school, and I played French horn in the band from sixth grade through high school. I bought a guitar during my freshman year in college – inspired by a girl in my dorm who played the guitar and offered to teach me a few chords, and the fact that there [...]

By |April 12th, 2019|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Music/Singing|Comments Off on Guitar Lessons

Enjoying a day of music, mangoes, and memories

This post is about one of my favorite days, and favorite memories, out of all my trips to Uganda. I wrote it after my second trip, and the column was originally published in the Chanhassen Villager on 9/27/12. Although it was close to midnight when we got home the night before, we were on the road again at 6:30 in the morning, traveling from Kampala to Iganga for my 9:00 program. I would be speaking to teachers at Buckley High School, which is actually a highly acclaimed [...]

By |May 11th, 2018|Columns, Gifts and Talents, Making a Difference, Music/Singing, Travel, Uganda|Comments Off on Enjoying a day of music, mangoes, and memories

A Last-Minute Invitation

I was getting ready for 5 o’clock Mass last Saturday when the phone rang. It was one of our neighbors. “I know this is short notice,” she said, “but a friend and I are going to a concert tonight by the Morehouse College Glee Club. I have an extra ticket, and was wondering if you’d like to go.” The wheels started spinning as I processed the timetable. My husband and I usually go to Mass on Saturday afternoon, but if we have other plans, or [...]

By |February 17th, 2018|Columns, Faith, Music/Singing|Comments Off on A Last-Minute Invitation

Catching up with an old Beatles song

A song has been running through my head for the past few days. Not the whole song, just one line. It’s from an old Beatles song, and goes: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” I was 14 when the song first came out in 1967, so the lyrics weren’t really relevant to me. That never mattered. As with many popular songs, I knew all the words and could sing along with the radio, but never gave much thought [...]

By |June 30th, 2017|Columns, Music/Singing|Comments Off on Catching up with an old Beatles song

A day well-spent has a powerful impact

The conference officially started at 9:30, but the doors opened at 8:30 for coffee, networking, and shopping – not necessarily in that order. I decided to get there right at 8:30 in order to beat the crowd, but apparently “the crowd” had the same idea. There were over a thousand women at the conference, and it seemed as though most of them were already there when I arrived. The conference I was attending was the second annual WINE Conference, but it had nothing to do [...]

By |February 19th, 2016|Columns, Faith, Family, Health and Well-being, Music/Singing, Values|Comments Off on A day well-spent has a powerful impact

Don’t just tolerate – celebrate!

Before last Sunday, I had never been to Lake Elmo. I also had never been to a Lutheran church service. Later in the day, back at home in my own church, I was chatting briefly with one of the deacons about the religious, racial, and cultural differences many of us can find not only in our communities, but among our friends and even within our own extended families. “Our differences shouldn’t just be tolerated,” he said. “They should be celebrated.” His words were music to [...]

By |August 21st, 2015|Columns, Faith, Music/Singing, Respect, Uganda, Values|2 Comments

That’s Entertainment!

Note: While I am in Uganda, the Chanhassen Villager is publishing excerpts from my upcoming book about my first trip to Uganda, in October, 2011. Sunday, October 16, 2011 5:45 p.m. I wish I could capture the sound of the music and the feel of this moment. There’s a light, cool breeze. It’s early evening, and we’re in a lovely outdoor arena, seated at colorfully-covered tables nestled up into the hills like seats in a theatre. Which is exactly what this is. Tribal drums are [...]

By |July 28th, 2013|Columns, Music/Singing, Uganda, Uncategorized, Writing|Comments Off on That’s Entertainment!