Magical Memoir Moments

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Grandma Hershey on left, Great Grandma Snyder in the center

Make a Comforter. BE a Comforter. Comforters for Ukraine

My Grandma Sue Snyder Hershey, pictured on the left below, looked like this when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s. My widowed great-grandmother, her mother, stands like the prow of a ship in front of her four adult children. I thought a lot about my grandmothers and great-grandmother as I was writing…

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Owen and Julia in a climbing tree near the riverflront in Lisbon.

A Grand Spring Break: Portugal, Days 1-5

Here in Lisbon, tonight, we are putting up our feet in the hotel suite living room after a day of walking 15,000 steps. We have seen so many sites and listened to so many stories, it’s hard to choose a story to tell you, dear reader. We will be here two more days before flying…

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