Magical Memoir Moments

An Antidote to GrandSlump: Those Simple Little Pleasures

Perhaps you have seen this neologism from my friend Kerry Byrne: If you have grandchildren, and were lucky enough to have them all together, or even in stages, over the holidays, you know how grandslump feels. I do. After the children and grandchildren gather up their luggage and head for the car, and we have…

Read More...
Stuart's book project is complete now

“YOU Do Not Have Cancer. WE Have Cancer.”

He found a lump near his ear when he was shaving. He went to the doctor right away and was referred for tests and then to an ENT specialist/surgeon. The doctors said most of these tumors are benign. But to be sure, the surgeon ordered a deep needle biopsy. On Nov. 22 we received the…

Read More...

A Letter to Our Grandchildren about Peace, Courage, Love, Justice, Kindness and Loyalty

Dear reader, we are still writing the letter below to our grandchildren. They haven’t seen it yet. We invite you to pretend you are almost 12, or 10 (we chose to write to the developmental level of the older two. The younger one, age 5, will want to be right in there with them but…

Read More...
Stuart at "work," holding his grandpa mug

My Husband’s Project: Biographical Geneaology

What do retired people do all day long? Stuart and I have been answering that question a little differently every year for the last eighteen years. Stuart retired from Goshen College in 2004. I left my last full-time position in 2010. For 28 years we both worked at Goshen College, changing jobs (I had nine…

Read More...
Lydia and Trixie Laughing at New Yorker Cartoons

Our Sacred Texts: What Will Your Spiritual Legacy Be?

I am writing this post from New York City. For the last four days we have been exploring the place that we called home in 2011-2012, traveling with friends from Goshen, Indiana. One of the highlights was returning to Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship where I preached a sermon called “Loving Our Children’s Children.” I was rather…

Read More...
1993 ad that ran in Newsweek in six states

Melodie Davis’ Memoir of an Unimagined Career

Unlike most of us, author Melodie M. Davis can locate the exact day and place when the shape of her vocation came to her. She was gathering eggs in the chicken house on the family farm when she wrote these words: “On this day, November 18, 1967, Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m., I decided what…

Read More...
Gloria, Tina, and Shirley dig in to the fresh honey while Mary holds the tray

Summer Adventures: It’s Not Just About the Grandkids

If it seems like my recent posts have all been about grandchildren, you are right. Seven of my last ten essays featured grandchildren in some way. These three littles are moving rapidly in time and space, and I want to capture as many memories as possible. I know many of you have older grandchildren (mine…

Read More...
Spontaneous family gathering around the bonfire.

The Bonfire of Aging—And Seven Grandparent Resources to Warm Your Heart

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Silver Tsunami, the Age Wave that is sweeping the world? It’s now a controversial term because it implies older people will overwhelm society with their numbers and their needs. Perhaps it encourages fear of aging and disrespect for the elderly—ageism. By whatever name we call it, however, we are in…

Read More...
Owen, Lydia, and Julia at Cousin Camp

Five Suggestions for Cousin Camp or Grandparent Camp This Summer

The phrase “summer vacation” puts a smile on every kid’s face. Grandparents also love summer, because chances are the vacation plans might include them! We had three days of continuous celebration of summer here in Lititz when our son’s family from Tulsa and our daughter’s family from Lancaster were united at our house. I’ve been…

Read More...
Book Cover

Dora Dueck: A Memoirist’s Memoirist

I received an advance reader’s copy of this lovely book: When I first saw the cover of this book, which will be released on June 1, 2022, I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It looks topographical, both scientific and mysterious. It suggests far more than its spare language and amorphous images indicate. According to…

Read More...