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The name Mary

The name Mary When I was a small girl, it was a burden to have the name Mary Ann. I was named after my paternal grandmother and my maternal great-grandmother, and I struggled under the weight of such an adult name. I preferred the nickname “Mamie” which my dad used or “Mamie Ann” which my...
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Painting and Patience

Painting and Patience About six months ago, when I was attending a birthday party for my grandson, I started talking to a young woman who is quite an accomplished artist. I was asking her questions about her work when my son Michael walked up, put his arm around my shoulder, and said, “My mom does watercolors.R...
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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The family language

The family language She’s a lovely young woman teaching kindergartners now, but 25 years ago she was a delightful toddler sitting in the back seat of the family sedan. When she was asked where she would like to go for dinner, she answered in her precious little voice, “Let’s just see where the car ta...
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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

His favorite

His favorite Years ago, Erma Bombeck wrote a column explaining to her three children why each one of them was her favorite. She told her oldest child that “I’ve always love you best” because “you were the first miracle . . .  the fulfillment of young love, the promise of our infinit...
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Let's purge!

Let's purge! One day early every December, I have headed to the closet under my basement stairs. There, packed in as tightly as possible, were boxes filled with Christmas decorations. My visit was always the same. I pulled out the boxes, looked inside, and then decided “yes” or “no.” Yes...
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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Courage

Courage What is courage? Who is courageous?   We honor the brave men who traveled across the English Channel one stormy June day and then ran onto sandy beaches trying to elude enemy fire.   Tears still flow at the memory of the firefighters who ran into buildings while people were fleeing from t...
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

November days

November days I was 17 years old the day that my dad died from a sudden and massive heart attack. All 36 students in my senior high school class came to the funeral home, as did many of the faculty members. The art teacher gave me the longest and strongest hug that I had ever received. Later I wondered if she ha...
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

The summer of 1963

The summer of 1963 When I was 12, things weren’t going so well in my home. That summer, I found myself on a train traveling to northern Wisconsin with my mother. Our trip ended in a very small town near Green Bay, and it began my wonderful Norman Rockwell summer. We stayed in my grandparents’ home; and fr...
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Retirement

Retirement I read an article recently that offered four ideas about how to spend your time in retirement. The co-authors suggested that life in retirement is probably pretty similar to the life we lived while we were in the work force. If we were busy then, we will probably stay busy now by wrapping a structu...
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Transforming a neighborhood through hospitality and prayer

Transforming a neighborhood through hospitality and prayer About 25 years ago, a woman moved into my neighborhood, and I can honestly say that she changed my life. And not just mine. She had moved to Indiana from Kentucky. Her newly-retired husband had suffered a stroke, and she was confined to her new home because of heavy-duty care giving for him. As I b...
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Thursday, August 18, 2016