Magical Memoir Moments

Now and Later candies. Wikipedia.

Rethinking Middle Age in Community and Envisioning Older Age as Ascent

Yesterday fall sunshine suffused our conference room at the Collegeville Institute. I was “on deck” as the first scholar to present my findings and receive feedback on my project: Jubilación: Vocation in the Third Act of Life. Having colleagues, a community of scholars who challenge and encourage you, is a gift at any stage in…

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The death and dying books shelf.

On Reviewing Books: We Are What We Read

Remember chewing your pencil when you had to write a book review for school? At some point in the process of writing a book review, I nearly always regret saying “yes” to the assignment. A good review requires at least two readings of the book, note-taking, special attention to themes and structure, and comparisons of…

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This room held all the splendor of the Taj Mahal for me. The year was 1966.

A Golden Jubilee Move-In: How a 50-Year-Old Dorm Room Still Inspires My Future

It’s been 50 years since I set sail for college! Getting there had been a struggle. My parents helped load my earthly possessions into the trunk of our ’57 Dodge. I was breathless with excitement as we left the driveway of the family farm, stones crunching under the wheels. The trouble began as we approached…

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The Shadow Side of Birthdays: The Side We Can’t See

I grew up listening to “Keep On the Sunny Side” as I helped to milk cows morning and night. It was the intro to the local radio station’s country and gospel music program. I never saw the Carter Family in person, but here is Mother Maybelle and her famous guitar and famous daughters. Look at…

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Two Volunteers Who Make This July Special

A volunteer sunflower and a volunteer interview fill me with joy in my favorite month of July. See post below to see both!

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Coffee, a laptop, and a lap. Nik at work.

Everything that Rises Must Converge: Naming What Rises

Adult children visits, Celtic Pilgrimage, writing assignments, family vacations, and preparation for a fellowship in the fall. All these promising events are rising or are about to rise. How to help them converge? I made a decision.

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Lighting a candle between two wise women, July 27, 1992

Seeking Wisdom: A Lifelong Quest

If you rubbed a magic oil lamp and Aladdin offered you only one wish, what would it be? I’d ask for wisdom. The story of King Solomon, who famously chose wisdom, made a deep impression on my in my youth, and later I prayed often for wisdom as a mother, teacher, and college president. In…

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Selçuk, Turkey, ruins offer arches around every corner. Temple of Hadrian.

Odyssey: Two New Stages of Life

The columnist David Broder gobsmacked me this week with these words: There used to be four common life phases: childhood, adolescence, adulthood and old age. Now, there are at least six: childhood, adolescence, odyssey, adulthood, active retirement and old age. Of the new ones, the least understood is odyssey, the decade of wandering that frequently…

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When Breath Becomes Air: On Being A Mortal Pilgrim

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi has inspired me to reflect on the role of mortality and pilgrimage as we enter the stage of life called Jubilación.

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Reader, I married him.

When Did You Stop Dreaming?

If your dreams have stopped . . .”Start daydreaming about the autumn of your life as much as you daydreamed about finding your perfect love when you were a teenager.”Laura Carstensen

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