Are You a Fixer-Upper?

Are you a fixer-upper like me? I’m not talking about rehabbing houses–or even making minor repairs, although I enjoy restoring or updating houses to give them new life. I’m talking about “fixing” other people–giving advice, seeing exactly what they need to do.  Jesus called it hypocritical: “How can you say […]


freedom

Freedom of Two Kinds

This week in America, we will celebrate our freedom. There’ll be fireworks, parades, flag-waving, patriotic music, and cookouts. No doubt, there will also be demonstrations, protests, and division. Because of our Constitution, we have the freedom to express our opinions and to voice our objections when we disagree with governmental policies […]


Water, water everywhere? Flood or drought?

I know we’re not alone in feeling like it has rained enough this spring. Iowa, which has only a handful of decent recreational lakes, currently appears to rival Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes–only most are flooded cornfields, wet lawns, and water-filled ditches, everywhere we look. Meanwhile, in other places around the country […]

high water

Miracles of Modern Medicine

A visit to a medical museum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, last week reminded me how grateful I am to live in this time period. A hundred years ago, a lung problem might have been treated–if at all–by putting the patient in an iron lung–a huge contraption that left one […]


Growing Like Pigweeds

A farmer friend talked about his five grandchildren. “They’re growing like pigweeds,” he said, laughing. He explained that a single plant seems harmless enough but if you look closely at it, the pigweed plant contains hundreds of seeds and, before you know it, the one weed has multiplied and taken […]

pigweed

Father and daughter walking

Memories of Daddy

With Father’s Day less than two weeks away, my thoughts drift back to one of my favorite childhood memories of my daddy. I had fallen and cut my knee open on a gravel driveway. Today, the injury would probably warrant stitches but our family had no insurance and little money […]


Traditions, Traditions!

At the beginning of the movie Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye proclaims, “Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as a fiddler on the roof!” We celebrated Mother’s Day yesterday, and I thought about a tradition we had when I was growing up. The tradition was to […]

White rose tradition

Shells Hide Amazing Secrets

Collecting shells at the beach is almost mandatory, especially if you live inland and don’t get to visit the ocean very often. We have jars of shells collected from beaches in Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Florida. We even have a book to help identify them–not that […]


What You See Isn’t Always What Is

The man had struck a pedestrian with his car. Or so we thought. We passed a car stopped at a corner the other day and realized the driver was a man we knew. He stood, looking bewildered, with his door open. Another car was stopped nearby. Our friend is older […]

sight

Double rainbow

What Makes a Rainbow?

Who doesn’t love to see a rainbow in the sky? Rainbows are caused, according to Wikipedia, ” by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly […]