What Remains: The Most Lasting Images from 24 Days in the Baltic Region . . . And a New Chapter Begins

Travel brings many rewards and pleasures too obvious to mention. But it also contains a danger: too many miles covered too quickly can all blur at the beginning and fade at the end. That’s one reason to take pictures.

At the Peterhof in St. Petersberg, Russia. A magical moment.

At the Petergof Gardens in St. Petersburg, Russia. A magical moment. Suddenly, a fountain erupted over the walkway. Then this lavender umbrella created an impressionist painting. My iPhone was ready.

Looking back over the entire set of 340 photos taken over 24 days of travel, some stand out because they were brief “moments” like the one above, never to be repeated. Here’s another, taken just a few minutes after we left the gardens, right before we entered the hydrofoil boat that took us back to the city.

Russian children playing freely -- just like children across the world.

Russian children playing freely — just like children across the world. I immediately thought of my grandchildren in New Jersey who also love to climb trees.

Both difference and sameness stand out when one travels, especially, in this case, to Russia, the country that stirred fear in American hearts during the Cold War — and still seems like an alien, dangerous, place under President Putin.

Which brings me to another moving moment — the idea that love of country is a good thing. And that other people, all around the world, have the same right as we do to love their countries.

Two of our favorite tourist spots were actually live concerts in honor of composers. In Helsinki, Finland, we heard a beautiful rendition of “Finlandia,” which I recorded here, with its amusing and inspiring introduction. It’s 14 minutes long but well worth it if you would like to be transported to another country or if you love this particular piece of music.

My favorite line from the introduction: “The most beautiful things in life you don’t shout, you whisper. . . . I love my country.”

On our way to hear this polished performance, we heard another, unpolished but moving song. Our tour guide told us she was no singer and then proceeded to sing Joan Baez’s version of Finlandia to us, using just the bus microphone. She brought tears to my eyes also.

Another highlight was a live concert close to Bergen, Norway, at the Edvard Grieg Museum. Recordings weren’t allowed, but you can enjoy the amazing performance venue that overlooks the same scenery that prompted Grieg to pour his soul into music.

The concert hall at the Grieg museum -- the home of the composer in the setting of his "hut."

The concert hall at the Grieg museum — the home of the musician in the setting of his composition “hut.”

The first 16 days of our trip were devoted to a cruise on the Zuiderdam ship of the Holland America line. If you are interested in the entire itinerary with journal entries, here it is.

From July 16 to 24 we toured Norway, starting at Bergen, then taking a boat ride to Flåm, another boat ride through the most scenic fjords, and two train rides, ending up in Oslo.

I’ve selected just one fjord photo for you to enjoy.

We wanted to see breathtaking natural wonders like the ones above, but we knew, from past experience that the impressions that last the longest from travels have to do with people more than places.

First, our traveling companions:

Nordic Cruise group: Marty, Shirley, Sadie, Harley, Stuart, Hollis

Nordic Cruise group: Marty, Shirley, Sadie, Harley, Stuart, Hollis. We were celebrating Harley and Sadie’s fifty years of marriage.

Norway tour group: Jake, Anne, Janet, Domi, Mark, Stuart

Secondly, the people we met along the way. The best encounter by far was arranged by Janet, our guide to all things Scandinavian. Janet’s former colleagues Kjetil and Penny invited all seven of us to their home for dinner and conversation. The weather was perfect, allowing us to eat outdoors and enjoy the gorgeous flowers. Kjetil had looked up information on all of us and guided the conversation from his position as host and grill chef.

Penny, an artist, grew up in the U.S. but has lived in Norway many years.

Penny, an artist, grew up in the U.S. but has lived in Norway many years.

Norwegian strawberries. So cool and so sweet.

Norwegian strawberries. Delicious. So sweet and so cold.

That night we talked and ate and drank well into the night. I was reminded of the movie Babette’s Feast, especially since the memory of visiting author Karin Blixen’s Danish house was still vivid. This meal joins a handful of memorable others in my life. They share four characteristics:

  1. the location is faraway from home and beautiful
  2. the food is simple, fresh, and prepared with love and attention
  3. the conversation meanders over a wide range of topics, among people who are curious about each other and the world
  4. the people at the table come from more than one culture. The more the merrier.

Thus endeth the lessons gleaned from this trip — which, of course, is just a bit of cream skimmed off the top. That’s what I did on my summer vacation.

Then, here are the highlights from the three weeks since we returned:

  • we packed up our car, readied our house for renters, and moved to Pittsburgh Aug. 1
  • we played with our granddaughter Lydia
  • we attended the 300th anniversary of the Brubaker family coming to America, where I gave the keynote address, and co-taught three workshops on writing and was able to visit with my mother
  • I spent a day with my three closest college friends
  • we played with our granddaughter Lydia some more
  • we began exploring downtown Pittsburgh and our new neighborhood, Garfield
  • we attended the visitation and funeral of my mentor and friend, Max DePree in Holland, Michigan

I have opened a new private Instagram account called grannynannydiaries. I only have two photos there now but will add one each day.If you want to follow along on daily adventures, just click “follow,” and I will add you. I’ll be reflecting, once a month or so, here on the blog about the experiences in Pittsburgh while holding down the best of all possible jobs — grannynanny. Which, of course, is all a continuation of the theme begun last year: jubilación.

Whether one travels the world or dives deeply into one place, the best response is wonder.

What has brought wonder into your world? I hope you’ll share your thoughts below. Or ask a question. 

Shirley Showalter


  1. Richard A Kauffman on August 11, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    I wonder about a lot of things, not least of all God, who is not a thing. But I wonder: can one wonder without there being a subject/object of one’s wonderings? Can one wonder about wonder?

    • Kathleen on August 12, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Richard, I too am curious about God and about wonder. I am curious about others’ experiences and how we are connected, which reflects Shirley’s last two learning statements:
      “3. … among people who are curious about each other and the world
      4. … the people at the table come from more than one culture.”

      Shirley, I wonder why the image of the magenta umbrella has been “stuck” in my brain since I saw it some weeks ago when you first posted it?!

      With gratitude for the conversation, photos, and questions,

      • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:04 pm

        Kathleen, your word for that color is better than mine: magenta. Takes me back to the Crayola boxes I loved, and a color close to Goshen College purple. 🙂 I can’t way why the image has stayed with you, but if it gives any sign of support from the invisible world to you, then I am happy.

        Grateful for you for the same reasons. I remember a lovely meal in Newton, Kansas, with you and Jon.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      I love how you wonder, Richard. You use Facebook as a way to wonder out loud. I am always curious to know what you are wondering about now. Can one wonder about wonder? Absolutely. These days, researchers are asking this very question: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201505/the-power-awe-sense-wonder-promotes-loving-kindness

      • Richard on August 13, 2017 at 10:42 pm

        Thanks, Shirley, for the feedback. And thanks for the link to this article. Quite interesting.

  2. Saloma Furlong on August 11, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    I agree that people are most important when traveling… but places are a close second. That photo of the fjord is breathtakingly beautiful!

    Oh, and those strawberries made my mouth water… I wanted to pluck a few right out of the photo!

    Thank you for allowing us to tag along in your adventures. I did not put two and two together to realize you were with Harley and Sadie on this trip. Now it makes perfect sense.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks, Saloma. We are so blessed when deep relationships and deep places come together. Like the Bible says, “Deep calls to deep.”

      Glad you enjoyed the photos. It was hard to choose them!

      Glad we had one of those evenings together at the table this summer. Amish stories definitely count as another culture for me. 🙂

      • Saloma Furlong on August 12, 2017 at 3:15 pm

        Shirley, that was a great pleasure for David and me as well. I count you as one of my Anabaptist sisters, even though our childhood experiences were so very different.

        • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:41 am


  3. Merril Smith on August 12, 2017 at 6:50 am

    One can tell you have been a college professor–your “What I did on my Vacation” is like a mini, masterful, and wide-ranging lecture. So much here, Shirley! Both versions of Finlandia” were lovely in their own way. I did not expect that opera voice to come out of the lecturer on “Finlandia.” 🙂
    I agree with Saloma above about those strawberries. Luscious!
    I think sharing meals and conversations with people add a special dimension to travel and to other occasions, too.

    As to wonder–oh, so many things! The birth of my children, feeding them with milk from my body, a sunrise, love, music. . .

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      You know how to praise an old professor, Merril. Thank you.

      Glad you enjoyed the Finlandia renditions. They gave us each a CD of Sibelius music played with two pianos. We listened to one CD as we drove to Pittsburgh. We gave the other CD to our neighbor, who loaned me her rain jacket, which turned out to be a life saver. It was colder most days than either of us were fully prepared for.

      Thanks for mentioning the wonder of breastfeeding. I hope my daughter sees this. We are both amazed by this miracle these days. She is a great mom and Lydia is thriving. Nature has designed a good system for vulnerable babies! A wonder indeed.

  4. Lisa Enqvist on August 12, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Shirley, you’ve done it again! You’ve brought my memories to life through your Nordic Trip Story. I must sit down and write those memories while they are fresh. To think that you also visited Helsinki – the city where I was born. I don’t live there now. Of my 70+ years, I’ve only spent about five memorable years there. All my four siblings live there now.

    I watched your Youtube film on the lecture about Finlandia. As your guide sang the Finnish National Anthem, I remembered learning that song as a nine-year-old school kid in Helsinki, having recently arrived “home” from a seven-year journey around the world. I glanced at my bored classmates singing the words that were almost making my heart burst with pride.
    I was born here. I was home.
    The Anthem in English:
    Oh our land, Finland, land of our birth,
    rings out the golden word!
    No valley, no hill,
    no water, shore more dear
    than this northern homeland,
    precious land of our fathers.
    (repeat last four lines)
    Your splendor from its shell
    one day will bloom;
    From our love shall rise
    your hope, glorious joy,
    and once your song, fatherland
    higher still will echo.
    (repeat last four lines)

    The Finlandia hymn brought memories, believe it or not, of both my home countries!
    I was 16 and had just survived an operation for appendicitis with fully blown peritonitis. I was home convalescing when my brother Sam borrowed the Sibelius recording of Finlandia from the USIS library in Kandy, Ceylon (Sri Lanka). It was the first time I heard that music. I sat by a window watching the wind blow through the bamboo grove.
    As I listened to the music, my mind was among the birch trees in Finland, feeling the longing of the children in an old story by Swedish author in Finland, Zachris Topelius 100 years ago. https://archive.org/details/birchandstarand00moegoog

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Lisa, you have added so much to this post with these words. A native speaks! And so beautifully. Of her country, her childhood among vastly different cultures. I appreciate seeing the English translation of the national anthem. I like the words better than “the rockets red glare and bombs bursting in air” of the US national anthem.

      Do keep writing. I’m so glad this post inspired you. You have inspired me, too.

  5. Melodie Davis on August 12, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Wow for so quickly capturing that impressionistic painting moment. Love it, and your carefully selected and edited travelogue. Great idea also to keep your own travel journal on a google doc for those interested in details. Great ideas for how to handle the wealth of stuff given to us in travels. The memories can be sparked by the pictures and the words but the personal encounters are held only in our hearts.

    Children are the best at giving me wonder: both my own and now grandchildren but all children with whom I have opportunity to get to know whether in church, wider family, and community. Enjoy your renewed role as granny nanny. I plan to follow the Instagram account. 🙂

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Yes, Melodie. “The memories can be sparked by the pictures and the words but the personal encounters are held only in our hearts.” So true. I have always tried to document trips in some way, starting with a trip we made through the Southwest in 1976 with Hollis and Marty, two of our travel mates this time also.

      i enjoy reading about your adventures with daughter and grandchildren too. We are both enjoying this active stage in our children’s lives. “Our flivvers are full,” as my father said one time.

  6. Audrey Denecke on August 12, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Oh, Shirley,your sharings fill my eyes, heart, spirit, and mind. There is so much here to sit with, visit and re-visit. I am deeply touched. Thank you.
    Wonder. Yes, so valuable to who we are to sit with wonder rather than in a place of certainty. My trip this summer was shorter in distance and time. We enjoyed a family reunion with our Perry relatives(my paternal aunt married a PEI born Canada) in the Calgary, Alberta, Canada.I wondered about family and our growth and diversity. We created a space for peace for our reunion, agreeing before coming there would be no talk of politics instead we would be focusing on what we shared as family. I sat with aging, my aunt and uncle the last survivors of their generation in our family. We also celebrated our expanded family, with so many newborns in our circle . My cup runneth over.
    I will look forward Shirley to checking in with you as you enjoy your special days in Pittsburgh!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 1:47 pm

      Thank you, Audrey. Your example of how to replace certainty with wonder and its connection to peace is perfect. I am sure you were one of the peacemakers. May your cup continue to run over.

      Thanks for your interest in the Pittsburgh stage of our lives. It promised to be a great adventure.

  7. Barbara McDowell Whitt on August 12, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Shirley Ann Hershey Showalter, your mention of attending the funeral of Max DePree enabled me to read that you previously had written about him as a mentor and what he had once said about writing: A writer whose voice touches us usually has been touched profoundly by others. You wrote that quote in a blog post on March 18, 2011.

    You and Stuart had a wonderful time in the Baltic Region. I’m sure you will also have profound times with your lovely new granddaughter Lydia Ann in Pittsburgh.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 12, 2017 at 2:03 pm

      Oh, Barbara, thank you for visiting the Max DePree post. We are driving back to Pittsburgh now, with the funeral program featuring Max’s picture on the seat beside us.

      The program included a reference to the hymn “For the Beauty of the Earth,” one of Max’s favorites. “For the mystic harmony, linking sense to sound and sight.” Yes, this connection has influenced many.

      This 92-year-old man planned his own service. More than 1,000 people attended and were blessed. We can include you. Thank you so much for always paying attention.

  8. Phyllis Wulliman on August 12, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Lovely, Shirley! Thanks for sharing the richness of your life activities with me through this blog. Looking forward to following you in Instagram, granny!

    After a week rich with activities with Austin in NYC we are preparing ourselves for a 2 week journey through Switzerland. We will dip into concerts at The Lucerne Music Festival where Austin will perform with the orchestra & JACK Quartet. Most of our time we’ll take day trips from our Airbnb into the countryside. Bud will visit ancestral sites in the Bern region for sure.

    Wishing you & Stuart all the best!

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Phyllis, we thought of you and Bud often when we attended these concerts. We are happy with you in anticipation of your own upcoming trip. What a treat, and deep delight, to listen to your own son perform among the world’s great musicians.

      And seeing the places our ancestors lived, and the faces of those whose ancestors have lived there for hundreds of years, deeply satisfies our needs for connections. I hope you have some lovely unanticipated encounters — and that all the ones you anticipate exceed even your expectations.

      We also hope to see you once or twice in Goshen. Hope to make the Christmas Concert, at least, this year.

  9. Linda Gartz on August 12, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Heavens! You brought back to my mind my senior year of college, studying at the University of Munich and then taking off the summer of 1970 to drive north in an 11-year-old VW. We drove through the winding mountains of Norway with our brakes giving way, but saw the most stunning landscapes! I still want to travel the fiords – and your post here inspires me. Once my book is out, and after a few readings, I’ll be there! BTW, Loved the umbrella photo. Magical to catch it at precisely the right moment. Magenta magic.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:52 am

      Ha! You have described a young person’s adventure, Linda. We did “Europe on Five Dollars a Day” for a month in 1970. Loved it. Now we love taking fewer physical risks, but we did do a bike tour of Oslo with a 21-year-old guide who led us fearlessly through the city, up hills, and through the traffic. We kept up with her and were proud of ourselves. The company name: “Viking Biking.”

      All best with you book, Linda. I know it will be a quality work written with love. So glad you are soon able to celebrate years of research with a permanent contribution to family and American history.

  10. Jeanette Bontrager on August 12, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    We had similar feelings after our recent 2 month trip to Eastern Europe. The many beautiful sights we saw blur in our minds much more than the delightful connections we made with people all along the way. It is a blessing to have the opportunity to travel and see new worlds.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:55 am

      Jeanette, I am sure you have many memories of people and places that will sustain you. Your children are true world citizens, and their journeys are understood best when you take a few yourself. So glad you enjoyed that trip and that we could connect as Brubakers as well as Hersheys recently.

  11. Sharon Lippincott on August 12, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    Your spectacular photos and vivid narrative blend into a remarkably rich experience, and I thank you for letting me tag along. Seeing this part of the world through your eyes and mind inspire me to see in yet more ways when we venture forth again. I look forward to following your exciting months as Grandnanny in the Burgh.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Sharon, one of our few permitted public entertainments as I was growing up was going to travelogues at our local public high school. People gave lectures on journeys to particular places, and I remember looking forward to each one. To make a trip available and useful to others requires lots of honing. Just like taking all the accumulation of life experience and writing about one major theme! As you know well. Thanks for joining the grannynanny train.

  12. Marian Beaman on August 12, 2017 at 9:50 pm

    Travel is still one of the best metaphors for life. So is Babette’s Feast, underscoring as it does the attitude of gratitude I detect in your words and pictures here. The film also speaks to both the self-sacrifice and enrichment your care of baby Lydia will bring.

    I haven’t had time to digest the wonders of British Columbia yet. The wonders just keep coming: A surprise 50th anniversary party given by our children on Thursday and today, the wonder of attending the 100th birthday party of a dear friend’s dad in Tallahassee.

    Seeing your small group makes me wonder what it would be like to travel with others. Cliff, ever the pioneer, hasn’t clipped off any side mirrors behind the wheel in London, Rome, and Paris and has engineered a trip with EurailPass. The Ford Fusion made it through unscathed on our last trip. But maybe it’s time for someone else to do the planning and chauffeuring. We’ve had some offers. We’ll see . . .

    Thank you for this bounteous journal of goodies. The window view in the Grieg Museum reminded me of the landscape near the tea house at Abkhazi Garden in Victoria. As I read your post and the lovely comments that follow, titles of two gospel songs come to mind now: Precious Memories and Count Your Blessings. Amen!

    P. S. We sang For the Beauty of the Earth at Aunt Ruthie’s funeral.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 8:12 am

      You know a good metaphor when you see one, Marian, and you also love living into metaphors and not just thinking about them. You connect personally with many of our own travel themes. Fifty years is something to celebrate! And travel is a wonderful way to do it.

      We have done our own thing in Europe with just a travel book (see my response to Linda above), and that would be easier now with GPS, ride sharing companies and Airbnb. However, our trips to New Zealand and now Norway, were planned by people who were either born in the country or made the country a life of study and travel there. The sharing of friends and getting into real homes and enjoying hospitality with people whose lives are entwined and invested in each other, is now our very favorite way to travel.

      Those two gospel songs are perfect, as is “For the Beauty of the Earth.”

  13. Elfrieda Neufeld Schroeder on August 12, 2017 at 9:52 pm

    Wow, Shirley, sounds like some marvelous times–travelling always broadens ones horizons as we see new places and make new friends.

    We have just had some wonderful days celebrating Hardy’s 80th birthday (actual date is Sept. 6) and our 50th anniversary (actual date is Jan. 13, 2018) with family and friends. I will blog about it.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Elfrieda (and Hardy, too, in the picture), you too have multiple celebrations and many opportunities for adventure and reflection.

      That’s what blogging is for us, right? Action/reflection/integration. That’s my senior citizen version of the process we introduced to our Goshen College students in Haiti, beginning in 1980. Paulo Friere named it first. This article is a good summary of the approach. I am sure you will recognize it from your own life! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_action_research

  14. Dolores Nice-Siegenthaler on August 13, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for taking us into your travels that could have been lost in a blur.

    I’ve enjoyed your readers’ responses as well, and, like Phyllis, I am planning a trip to Switzerland too. Dave and I are going in late September, with a small group from our Presbyterian church, in honor of 500 yrs since the Reformation began. We plan to visit the places of our ancestors as well.

    “I wonder” is the way a Godly Play storyteller begins the conversation time after telling the day’s story. “I wonder what you liked best? I wonder who or what you are in the story?…and so on.” I am so happy to have a job that takes me to wonder with children (instead of being didactic). I get to do this every Sunday as a Godly Play storyteller, and, in this way, I get to wonder about all the Bible stories and actions I used to treat as something to interpret and whittle away for meaning. Wonder allows the story to grow and keep resounding.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thanks for mentioning the readers comments, Dolores. They keep me learning, which keeps me engaged and inspired.

      I’m so glad you get to go to Switzerland. I haven’t been there since 2004 and would love to go again.

      I didn’t know about the Godly Play storyteller tradition. I would love to see you tell stories. Yes to this idea: “Wonder allows the story to grow and keep resounding.”

  15. Laurie Buchanan on August 14, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Shirley — Thank you for sharing these vivid photographs; it’s been a lovely virtual tour. I love your quote:

    “Whether one travels the world or dives deeply into one place, the best response is wonder.”

    You asked what has brought WONDER into the lives of your readers. For me, it’s observing the details; the things that are oftentimes overlooked. And then WONDERing about the who, what, when, where, why, and how of it. necause everything—without exception—makes an impact.

    I’m following your grannynannydiaries on Instagram and enjoying it.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 14, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      What a good word for today, Laurie– observing the details. For example, Lydia is sleeping beside me right now. Her right eye is open a slit while the left eye is totally shut. I wonder why. When she gets to deep sleep, will it be the same?
      You are a great exemplar of wonder. I hope everyone here clicks on your Tuesdays with Laurie link to see what I mean.

  16. June on August 14, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    Webster’s dictionary describes wonder as; a cause of astonishment or admiration, miracle, the quality of exciting amazed admiration, rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience, a feeling of doubt or uncertainty. Such a simple word to use to describe the wonder of the Rocky Mountains, the azure blue of some waters. The wonders as you hold a child, a grandchild, with utter amazement. I think if you look for wonder you can find it.

    • Shirley Showalter on August 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      June, you are quite right about the connection of desire to wonder. The cause of wonder is more inside ourselves than in our external circumstances. So let’s open ourselves to the wonder in every day life as well as in exotic places.

  17. Elaine Mansfield on September 16, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    I admit this makes me miss traveling with my honey. A trip overseas or up a mountain or to the ocean has never been the same on my own. I’m glad you and Stu are having many of these. I don’t feel sorry for myself, Shirley. I’m grateful for all I had, including memories and photos.

    At the moment, I’m finding Delight and Wonder close to home. I had a rough psychological patch dealing with endless caregiving for my 101-year-old mother-in-law. Then, a woman emailed to say she raises Monarch caterpillars since their survival rate is 1-2% outside. A mutual friend had told her my land has lots of milkweed and butterflies. My Monarch mentor asked if she could come and have a look. She did. Her eyes grew big as saucers. Milkweed everywhere. She showed me how to find Monarch caterpillars and the basics of caring for them. I’ve raised 15 Monarch caterpillars (all pupae except two now) and 1 Black Swallowtail caterpillar spotted on the trail. I couldn’t resist, although that meant collecting both milkweed and wild parsnip. I wake up in the morning and run to see how the nursery is doing. Another caterpillar will be a pupae any moment. Another plus the Swallowtail have a day or two of feeding first.

    My Monarch mentor brought 5 butterflies she raised to my land a few days ago and taught me how to do the release. Of course, I have photos. I feel a blog coming on. And joy. Lots of joy. The 9-year-old within needed this wonder. Thanks for asking so I could share my joy.

  18. Shirley Showalter on September 16, 2017 at 10:38 pm

    Elaine, your story about the joy of playing midwife to butterflies reminded me of an adventure our daughter Kate had in one of her early grades. Her teacher told the class about milkweed, and so Kate and I walked along the Elkhart River near our house searching for caterpillars. We couldn’t find any. When the teacher heard the story, she volunteered to come on our walk, and we found a caterpillar that eventually turned into a butterfly. Like you, we were thrilled.

    And Kate was 9 years old!

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