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_MG_8217My name is Shirley Hershey Showalter. I’m the author of a memoir about growing up Mennonite called Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering World. I was also a college president, foundation executive, and professor. You can read more on my about page.

I am leading a quieter, more contemplative, life now. I enjoy reading, writing, playing, and speaking. At this website, I’m reflecting on two subjects:


  • Magical Memoir Moments: those little epiphanies when we remember on purpose.
  • Encore vocation: when we get to decide what our purpose is beyond our job or career.

Most recent blog posts

In Search of the “Real” in Cuba: A Pictoral Journey

When I travel, I love to meet people in their homes and observe their daily lives. I know that I can’t experience “authentic” culture in a short trip, but I look for opportunities  to make real human contact. Below are some people I met in Cuba in... read more

The Bee Hummingbird as Angel of Annunciation

My most memorable moment in Cuba, Oct. 21-Nov. 4, lasted less than 15 seconds. I wasn’t expecting it, hoping for it, praying for it. But there it was, right in front of me, first hovering, then diving right past my left shoulder. Two other hummingbirds buzzed in... read more

From Bathtub to Cuba

You already know how exotic any body of water is to a farm kid. Not only did we not go to the ocean when I was growing up, we used the crudest of substitutes: Later our bathtub expanded to a farm pond. As you read these words, I will be exploring south eastern Cuba... read more

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