My African Year Of Grief

My African Year of Grief National geographic wrote an article about the way some people groups in Africa handle grief.  The part that stayed with me after reading it, was that when someone experiences the significant loss of a loved one the expectation is that for a year they are given space and freedom to …

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One Of The Best Gifts Ever

The Barbie Camper.   The Love Pup.  A horse, horse calender, horse socks, soft blanket with a horse on it, Breyer horses, miniature blown glass horse, horse and buggy ride, horse show tickets.  Cookbooks.  Coffee Mugs. These are a few of my favorite things, some   of the best gifts I've ever received.  So many …

No Pushing; Stop Pulling

  Calvin is nine in dog years, translated to human time - he is about 52ish.  Maybe because he lived on a leash in hot Florida for the last three years, maybe because he is older and not as strong anymore, he wiped out in the MI winter snow.  Result:  torn miniscus or ACL.  Either …

From The Heart of an Elder and the Younger

My dad died.  Andy Ploegstra was born Groundhogs day 1938.  He told that to his oncology nurses each time he came for a chemotherapy treatment.  He wanted them to know when Groundhogs day was; know it came on the same day every year.  He wanted to add humor, a conversation in the midst of being …

When Opposites Attract

During the 10 hour drive between MI and Iowa, the adult passengers shared stories of people with somewhat opposite personalities, strengths, interests, and characteristics finding one another, pursuing one another and resulting in marriage. No one intentionally sought out an opposite, but attraction to the opposite was the common thread in every story.  Also common was that …

What does Diet Pepsi, my sister-in-law, and Tina Fey’s Bossypants have in common?

They saved my life. Diet Pepsi out of the soda fountain only is a rare splurge.  Recently it was necessary to keep me away while driving from Florida to Michigan.  My sister-in-law Bethani has a rare sense of humor when delivering accounts of their life. Her version of teaching kids to read in the hallway of …