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Get a Buzz On
As an author and columnist, I’m often asked how I get my ideas. I get them from daily life. Ideas can come from something I’ve experienced, read about, a reflection, a tug at the heart, or something that strikes me as funny. I’ve heard other authors mention that they know they’re on to something when they get goosebumps, feel a tingle in their scalp or a shiver. I get a buzz on—an awesome “high” feeling.  I felt “the buzz” a few days ago when I answered the phone in my hotel room. It was my ten-year-old grandson. “Grammy, did you…
Carefree and Driftless
Sometimes a person just needs to ignore the drudgery of the “to do” list and leave their burdens and worries behind. I took this advice and spent a carefree day “drifting” along with a group tour. I intended to set all worries aside and enjoy Wisconsin’s scenic driftless area. In the capable hands of an expert tour guide, driver, and a woman in charge of our comfort, I settled back in the cushy bus and let all my worries drift away. “Driftless Wanderings” is part of Able Trek’s “Go places and learn stuff” series and learn I did. Our tour…
Transport Me
Transport Me My good friend Liisa Eyerly and I share many things in common including a love of writing, playing tennis and pickleball, and an appreciation for our Scandinavian heritage, but Liisa is way cooler than me. I might have introduced her to a few good writing books and authors, but she introduced me to a traditional Finnish bath. A group of us met at her home on a northern Wisconsin lake and steamed in her sauna, properly pronounced SOW-na, where she threw water on rocks until the sweat poured off our bodies. We brought the blood to the surface…
My Trip by Med-flight
The Friday of our local fall festival, Wo-Zha-Wa, I had a 2:30 appointment at the clinic because the last few days I had felt light-headed and dizzy. Ten days before that, swollen ankles prompted a visit. My blood pressure was high (unusual for me) and I began taking a pill, hydrochlorothiazide, that many people take successfully to help with that problem. At the clinic, my blood pressure was 100/60, so the staff and I discussed my cutting the pill in half. I was pausing at the desk to make a follow-up appointment when I became light-headed and knew I was…
And the Years Go By
I’m about to celebrate another birthday and as my grandmother used to say, I’m getting up there. Last month  I picked out what will probably be my last kayak. An older person thinks about those things. It really isn’t so bad. Gulp, gulp. Just because compressions stockings and bran flakes are frequent entries on the shopping list doesn’t mean I still can’t enjoy life. Why worry that salesclerks now call me Ma’am and ask if I want the senior discount? So what if now, when a hotrod pulls up alongside me and the young man grabs my attention it’s because…
In Our Own Backyard
In Our Own Backyard Fifty years ago, Catherine Marshall’s book Christy had a profound effect on me. In my idealized view, I wanted to be just like Christy and help children who were dealing with poverty and other serious issues. When I ended up getting my first teaching job in the Dells, I quickly found out that I didn’t need to go to the Appalachian Mountains to help students dealing with life challenges. I could contribute and make a difference here in my own backyard. My husband and I like to travel. One fall we headed to the Smoky Mountains,…
Your Past Shapes Who You Are
Do you ever think about how your childhood, teen years, and high school experiences shaped the person you are today? After attending my husband Frank’s class reunion and hearing stories about his younger years, it’s easy to see how he became the man he is today. While in elementary school, a group of older bullies once held Frank down and were going to “cut off his leg.” His mother rescued him in time, but growing up, Frank had to use his wits and strength more than once to defend himself. Those skills proved useful later when encountering thugs at the…
Joy in the Classroom
I recently took my grandsons to Lake Delton’s school’s playground. When my older grandson asked me if I’d ever brought my students here, I told him I had. Years instantly melted away and memories, like welcoming ghosts, rose from the familiar ground. I was fortunate to have taught fourth grade for over 30 years at that close-knit, community-minded school. The building and this playground hold many happy memories. As an incentive for students to finish work and follow the rules, I had what I called FFTs, “Friday Fun Times,” which were often held at this park. For the small investment…
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