Want to leave a legacy?

Make the last third of life the best ever.

Hello, friends. I’m the author of a memoir about growing up Mennonite called Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets a Glittering WorldI was also a college president and professor (Goshen College), and a foundation executive (the Fetzer Institute). You can read more on my about page.
My writing and blogging themes have evolved from memoir to aging joyfully (jubilación). My personal mission is to prepare for the hour of my death -- one good day at a time. Other topics of interest include travel, Celtic spirituality, vocation, and higher education.
This year my husband Stuart and I are living in Pittsburgh next to our daughter Kate, son-in-law Nik, and granddaughter Lydia, so I am blogging at the end of each month about the experience of being a grannynanny. If you want to follow along, you can sign up for Magical Memoir Moments in the box on the right. You can also follow grannynannydiaries on Instagram.

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Most recent blog posts

Prince Charles, Pittsburgh, and People Turning Seventy

I remember how pleased I was to read, in My Weekly Reader, in 1957, that Prince Charles was born in 1948. He was my age! I would later learn that Al Gore, James Taylor, Kathy Bates, Stevie Nicks, Samuel L. Jackson, Alice Cooper, and Andrew Lloyd Weber, all share the same birth year, which means. .…

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My mother on her 91st birthday on February 27, 2018. Photo by Doris Dagen.

The 200-Year Present: A Way to Lengthen Your Days

Last week I spoke at a gathering of educators at Berry College. The subject was “Called to Tell Our Stories.” As I prepared my speech, reviewing my own life for stories that might connect with the audience, I remembered the visit of Elise Boulding to Goshen College in the 1980s. Boulding had a great impact…

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Showing signs of wear, my copy of the book, along with journal and iPad, which allow me to digest and research material as I read.

Learning to Be, From a Baby, with Help from Annie Dillard

I’ve learned a lot from babies. Apparently, I am not alone. Babies are now becoming teachers in some schools. Meet Baby Naomi in this short video. She’s exactly the same age as our Baby Lydia. The school children in this video are learning empathy. Persistence. And the value of vulnerability. Older children learn by gently…

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