Magical Memoir Moments

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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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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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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Kate and Nik, celebrating.

The Big Sleepover: Five Nights and Six Days with a Nearly-Five-Year-Old

Last week Lydia stayed at our house while her parents took a week away to celebrate their anniversaries disrupted by Covid (#ten and #eleven) as well as the one coming up in May (#12). This was the first long sleepover for Lydia at our house. A few years ago, we did Grandparent Camp with Owen…

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Grandchildren L-R, Lydia, Owen, and Julia

A New Website and Newsletter Look! Seeking Your Tweaks

My website was first set up in 2008 to be a place to house a blog called “100 Memoirs.” When my first book Blush: A Mennonite Girl Meets the Glittering World came out, I needed a different kind of website, an author’s version, to accommodate the various kinds of information prospective book buyers, reviewers, and…

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"Bubbe" Paula Span with new-born Bartola.

Are You Bubbe, Zaide, Oma, Opa, Grandma, Grandpa? Paula Span Is Your Must-Read Journalist

Do you have a must-read journalist or columnist? I discovered mine in the pages of The New York Times. She specializes in some of my favorite subjects: the new old age, grandparenting and memoir. Her name is Paula Span. Her writing combines clarity, elegance and empathy. I love that she tells her own story as she…

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