Magical Memoir Moments

Flannery O'Connor and her friend Elizabeth. Can you guess which one she is?

A Good Man is Hard to Find: Flannery O’Connor

Having just returned from Savannah, I am taking life at a slower pace. One visit from the trip stands out: Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home.  I met one of my favorite authors again for the first time. Here, she is! She taught her chickens how to walk backward and became news reel famous in her youth. She’s…

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The Garden of Good and Evil: Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia. Magnolias, Spanish Moss, Palm Trees. Stuart and I are enjoying a beautiful week in the Old South. He is working. But this weekend we are meeting up with six other Showalters and spouses to explore the city. In the meantime, we are getting a head start on the river walk. And tonight, it’s…

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Co-hostess Melissa Frost places a flower crown on Kate. So many special touches!

A Mother Blessing: Something to Consider in Your Life?

Last Sunday I participated in an alternative to a baby shower called a Mother Blessing. I knew I would enjoy it because my fun-loving, color-loving, people-loving daughter would be the expectant mother. Not only did I enjoy this event, I was deeply moved. Everything was exquisitely beautiful. We gathered at Coterie — a woman-focused co-working…

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MJ Sharp: A “Sparkplug” Who Lived and Died for Peace

Perhaps you read about him or heard about him on the news? The young United Nations peace worker who was kidnapped in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 12, 2017, and whose body, along with a colleague’s, was found in a shallow grave on March 26? His name was Michael Jesse Sharp. He…

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The beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

Three Glorious Days and a Sign Off Until Easter

O what a wonderful time we had. Three days in a row of joyful frolic. Mother celebrated her 90 years with more than 100 of her closest friends and family. Our immediate family booked the entire Forgotten Seasons Bed and Breakfast. Kathy and Jay Wenger set a lovely table for us on Sunday morning. Here…

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High School senior

Happy 90th, Mother: This Is Your Life!

It’s finally here. My mother has been talking about this day for the last six months. “Can you believe I’m going to be ninety?” she asks in genuine amazement every time I talk with her. Her five children, their spouses, children, their spouses, and their grandchildren now number 46. And all of us are celebrating…

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Christopher Dock praying for his students. Artist Tom Schenk. Goshen College Mapleleaf 1933.

Teaching as Satyagraha: Remembering Christopher Dock as I Read Gandhi

One of the themes of jubilación is this: Gather it up. Give it away. When your vocation is learning and teaching, it’s good to gather up mentors and give them away. Here’s a mentor of mine: Christopher Dock (c.1698-1771) was a remarkable Mennonite schoolmaster whose book, School Management, was the first educational philosophy and advice manual…

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Mahatma Gandhi wikipedia image in the public domain. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahatma_Gandhi

The Four Ashramas of Life: Connecting Wisdom from Benedictine to Hindu to Anabaptist Sources

Brother Aaron was our liaison to Saint John’s Abbey at the Collegeville Institute last fall. He always came to our scholars’ seminars with a resource to offer. When he came to my seminar on jubilación, he brought with him a handout on the four ashramas of life from the Hindu tradition. Here is Sri Sri Ravi…

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Wikipedia image in the public domain: Vine in the street in Sochi, Russia Made by Alexander Nevzorov

The Best is Yet to Be: Joyful Aging From Browning to Lennon to Carpenter

Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made –Robert Browning, “Rabbi Ben Ezra,” 1864 In 1980, John Lennon, just before he was killed at the age of 40, rediscovered these words, simplified them, and set them to music after Yoko Ono had…

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Like Leaping into Heaven: The Grandmother Effect

As you know, grandmothers have been on my mind. They pop up in the most surprising places. At the recent march in Washington, DC, In my own memory of my peacemaker grandma. And in the class I am teaching to 22-year-olds. Here, for example is a still photo from the TED talk I encouraged my…

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