Magical Memoir Moments

A cornucopia of fall produce from the Farm at Willow Run.

The Harvest Comes For You and For Me

Here is a poem fragment I think of every fall. “Live as if you liked yourself, and it may happen: reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in. This is how we are going to live for a long time: not always, for every gardener knows that after the digging, after the planting, after the…

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My Three Cherished Things: Preserving the Stories that Go With Them

Last week I shared a conversation starter question that ignited a lively discussion. Readers shared three things they most cherished, three things they would clutch in a fire. I promised to share mine. So here goes. My first choice: I was wearing this ring on my right hand while I tried to choose my three…

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Garrison Keillor, wikipedia image

Living in Lake Wobegon

Central Minnesota is home to the Collegeville Institute and to St. John’s University and the College of Saint Benedict. But it’s also Lake Wobegon Country, a place of nostalgia and country wisdom that unites my present with my past.

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Graduation Day Eastern Mennonite College, 1970: Elvin Kraybill, me, Myron Augsburger, Conrad Brunk. Truman Brunk

Commencement: Go Where There Is No Path

 “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail,” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. Graduation Day 1970. I was nervous and excited. My friend Elvin and I were the student commencement speakers. We marched with the college president. After that day, we would not see each other…

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Three Amazing God Stories from My Self-Chosen Amtrak Writer’s Residency

When we travel, we multiply the chances that we encounter a “once in a lifetime” event that defies all odds, seemingly flying to us on wings from the universe. I like to think of these times as God moments. Or, as my sister Doris says, “God’s poetry.” On our BookTourAnniversaryPalooza, on Amtrak, July 1-28, 2014,…

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A Mennonite Memoir Filled with Awe: Don Jacobs' What a Life!

I’m grateful today for publishers and publications that allow small groups of people to keep their collective identity alive. Good Books is one of those publishers. Mennonite World Review offers a place for readers to connect to the books. Hurrah for both! April 1 issue Voice of awe and gratitude by Shirley Hershey Showalter Is it…

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Who Wants to Take a Memoir Class? Tantalizing Syllabi from Pro Teachers

I’ve been a teacher since the age of three. That’s when I became a big sister. Ready or not, poor Henry got to pitch me softballs while I learned to bat. He was the first pupil in my classroom and the Watson to my Sherlock. Next fall I will be teaching again, and I’m excited….

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From Fired to Fired Up: Three Waves of Transformation

Did you know that, according to a Gallup Poll, only 32 percent of all employees can say “yes” to this statement: “At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.” Are you one of the 32 percent or one of the 68 percent?   Perhaps you have been excited about…

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Three Simple Steps to Begin the Memoir Journey

In case you think you’re not up to the challenge of writing, here’s an excellent way to begin. You won’t believe where Laurie Gray started. Three Simple Steps by Laurie Gray Write You’re working on your memoir, but most of your writing so far has been through journaling. Find opportunities to write and publish short…

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The Harvest Time of Life: A Mini-Memoir

Last Sunday, Stuart and I celebrated the last day of August with one of our many bike rides in the hill/woods/lake country here in southwestern Michigan. We have enjoyed watching the grape vines become green, then produce fruit, and soon we will get to observe the harvest.  Next Tuesday another sign of the season arrives–all…

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