Magical Memoir Moments

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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WE THE RESILIENT by Ernesto Yerena

Grandma Power: Why I Marched

I didn’t go to hear celebrities. I didn’t go because I expected to agree with every sign or every chant. I didn’t go because I thought a march would instantly solve any problem. I went because I felt called. I had the very same feeling Teresa Shook, retired lawyer and grandmother of four, had when…

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These brass bookends were an inauguration gift from my brother- and sister-in-law.

Bookends: Satisfying, Surprising, or Stultifying?

I’ve been doing a lot of de-cluttering lately. Beginning of a new year, returning from a semester away, it’s time to cull books, which leads to rearranging wall hangings and other objects of art. Like these: I saw these beautiful bookends in a new way this week. They commemorate a momentous time in my life,…

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Jubilee Time: Chronos or Kairos?

This has been a week when I am back to keeping a schedule. Or trying to. Today a forgot a lunch date until 20 minutes past the appointed hour. So embarrassing! It was a very busy morning, starting with 6:30 birthday song chorus from Owen and Julia for Granddad’s birthday, then a trip to the…

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Teaching and Learning Across the Life Span: 2017 Here We Come!

As the new year begins, I am connected to young grandchildren and to the honors students, seniors at Eastern Mennonite University, I am preparing to teach this semester. Beyond this semester, I look forward to becoming a “grannynanny” again next fall.

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The shirt reads, "When you are an excellent grandma, you get promoted to Great Grandma.

A Pennsylvania Christmas: A Living Example of Jubilación

On the way east from Collegeville, Minnesota, the last stop we made before turning south was at Landis Homes, the retirement community where my mother lives. There 40 descendants of Richard and Barbara Ann Hess Hershey gathered to celebrate Christmas. In the middle of our circle sat the grande dame, the matriarch, the dowager empress….

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Apartment #7 facing Stumpf Lake.

The Sweet Sorrow of Saying Goodbye to Collegeville

What a week this has been! We had our last worship services, our last seminar and wine and cheese after party, and now the packing. This afternoon, in zero degree temperatures, my camera said good-bye to my dear cottage by the lake. Last night we celebrated Christmas lavishly. Each scholar contributed the three elements of…

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Vocation: How Do We Listen for a Joyful Calling at Any Age?

Vocation, or calling, gives purpose to life. The questions that help us listen for who we are and what God wants for us are remarkably similar at any age. My young colleague Jess reminded me of this truth this week.

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