A Daisy in Winter

A Daisy in Winter

It’s a mild January afternoon in Minnesota, but no one here is fooled. Daffodils and daisies, some of the earliest and cheeriest signs of spring, are months away. Plenty of subzero temperatures, sheets of ice, and piles of snow lay between here and that most wonderful...
Of Gravestones and Obituaries

Of Gravestones and Obituaries

Several years ago I took my parents on an expedition, at their request, to the cemetery where they will someday be buried. We stopped at the main building, found a map indicating the location of their plots, and drove to the site. I parked the car, and as they made...
A Tradition Worth Keeping

A Tradition Worth Keeping

A three-tiered platter filled with treats isn’t really designed for a two-person party, but we’re using it nonetheless this New Year’s Eve. It was supposed to be part of a new holiday tradition in our house, but things didn’t turn out that way. At least this year. One...
The Kind of Teaching We Need Most

The Kind of Teaching We Need Most

I posted these thoughts three years ago, but they came to mind again yesterday during carol-singing at church, and I realized anew how much I am in need of this kind of teaching: While most churches don’t crack open hymnals anymore (if they even have them), the ones...

A Season Not To Remember

This week I lost track of the hot air blowing around the Capitol and the wintery winds blowing across the nation. Headlines from home whipped me back to another life in which I taught fifth grade. During those six years, I shepherded 153 ten-year-olds through what I...

The Trappings of Tradition

For the first time ever, I am not home for Christmas. The airlines outpriced me on flights from and to the uttermost ends of the Lower 48, so – with parental blessing – I decided to stay put for the holiday. I confess that I cried when I realized I’d be spending...