Magical Memoir Moments

Couldn't find any Pepsi in glass bottles, so I went with my water bottle.

So Much Fun: Making Collage Photos and Getting Chills

A few weeks ago everyone seemed to be playing with FaceApp, which aged faces of young people. You could see yourself in the future, say, fifty years from now. On our second honeymoon to Nova Scotia, we did the reverse.   These collages were much fun to make. They were taken almost exactly fifty years…

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August 1969. Nova Scotia. Our honeymoon.

The Three Most Important Words in Marriage: Fifty Years of Learning Together

It’s a family joke with us. We picked it up from a friend who asked, “What are the three most important words in marriage?” Our immediate response was “I love you.” We say those words to each other every day. We’ve been doing so for more than 50 years. But our friend said, “No, there…

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Why We Installed Solar Panels: Old Age and the Triple Bottom Line

It makes no sense. We are not likely to recoup the money it takes to buy and install solar. We’re too old. But we did it anyway.   Our next door neighbors went first. They were in their eighties! When I saw their solar panels going up, I remembered a proverb: A modern way of…

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Owen, Lydia, and Julia with their grandparents. June 22, 2019

Grandparent Camp: Like Baking a Cake

Grandparent week at our house started out at the Showalter Reunion. Owen and Julia’s parents drove 8.5 hours to Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia, to participate in the festivities. At the end of the reunion, Owen and Julia jumped into Grandma and Granddad’s car, and their parents drove back to Philadelphia and Montclair so…

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Screen shot from the campaign website store: https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/gear/products/pete-2020-embroidered-hat

In Defense of Iowa Caucuses and an Explanation for Mayor Pete’s Popularity Among Seniors

  My best friend in Iowa is a country girl. Like me, Carol Bodensteiner grew up on a dairy farm in the 1950s. She wrote a childhood memoir, which brought us together. We are both writers. For the last two years, Carol and I have talked with each other once a month, discovering that we…

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My Three Cherished Things: Preserving the Stories that Go With Them

Last week I shared a conversation starter question that ignited a lively discussion. Readers shared three things they most cherished, three things they would clutch in a fire. I promised to share mine. So here goes. My first choice: I was wearing this ring on my right hand while I tried to choose my three…

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L-R: Gloria, Mary, Shirley, Tina.

Three Things Most Cherished: A Spiritual Exercise in Material Form

If your house were on fire, what would you most want to save? Or, less dramatically, if you strolled through your house today, which items would you miss most if they weren’t there? Take your time, I’ll wait for you. Recently, my friend Tina challenged our group of college friends to name our three favorite…

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The Song of the Lark, one of two copies in my library.

Our Callings, Our Bodies, and Our Lodestar Books

Do you have a lodestar book? One that explains your self to yourself? One that you can read in any season of life and it still instructs, comforts, and inspires you? Like this one? I have read this book at least four times. I come back to some passages nearly every year. This novel tells…

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Standing in winter landscape.

Silence, Solitude, and Aging: A Winter Revery

This is the season of silence and endurance, deep freeze of the soul. I have been writing haiku with photos, praying one pearl at a time. As I gaze outside, I read John O’Donohue’s Walking in Wonder The idea of my clay connected to my sister, the mountain! Reminded me of poet Gerard Manley Hopkins.…

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Our pear and cherry trees in the back yard. With severe haircuts.

Purging and Pruning Post Epiphany

Yesterday, the Day of Epiphany, fell on a Sunday, and a little group from our church jumped into conversation about the wise men, the star, and global warming, in response to the sermon. So, I was receptive when my friend Richard posted a wonderful epiphany reflection, which begins this way: For this Time Being –…

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