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

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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Little Golden Book: Martha's House

Moving Across the Bridge: From Dream to Reality, Christmas to New Year, and Part I and Part II of Our Pittsburgh Adventure

The end of December is like Monet’s Japanese footbridge, says writer Philip Martin. For us, this time has been a moving experience, bridging Christmas and New Year, dreams with reality, and the first half of our “grannynanny” sojourn with the last half. Christmas Kate and Nik hosted our whole family in Pittsburgh, the city of…

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Lydia and me enjoying a visit to the lovely Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh.

Feeling Useful: A Place Where Age and Love Meet

In my twenties and thirties and forties, I was a professor. In my fifties I was a college president. In my sixties I was a foundation executive. Now that I am six months away from age seventy, I’ve been promoted to “granny nanny.” But what, exactly, does that mean? Obviously, it means helping to keep…

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