Let us rise up

“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let us all be thankful.”   This call for gratitude…

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Roman Holiday (Family Style)

We started the day with high spirits and high hopes. The first leg of the journey would be easy, right? All we had to do was get 5 adults and 8 children out of a rented countryside villa, onto an Italian train in the middle of nowhere, and head into Rome. What could go wrong?…

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I Hated My Gym Teacher

I suppose it wasn’t really her fault. Well, I can say that now, but at the time I could barely look her in the eye.    I had just turned 12 and started the seventh grade, my first year of what was then known as Junior High. There were lots of terrifying firsts for a…

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The Courage to Try

This story begins on February 9, 1917, in the one room schoolhouse in Elkhart, Kansas. The Cunningham family lived closer to the school than the other students, so they were given the task of arriving early and getting the old pot-belly coal stove that kept the school warm ready for the day.    Four Cunningham…

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The Red Phone

  That’s my grandpa on the phone, the red power phone. We were in a beautiful hotel in Tokyo, summer 1972. It was a wonderful trip, but at that particular moment, no one was having fun yet.    You see, Grandpa didn’t speak Japanese, and whoever he was talking to clearly didn’t speak English, so…

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The $5,000 CD Player

Peter, our youngest son, is a man of many talents. It’s hard to say which is his greatest, but perhaps it is his people skills. He has a personality that people enjoy and charms them at the same time.    Peter was famous for using this talent when it came to his mother, my first…

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I Wish

I wish my family was different. I wish we didn’t fit right in with the global norms. But we do.   We have five school age grandchildren. I wish I could somehow magically protect them from the impact kids around the world are feeling as the pandemic continues to dramatically disrupt their lives.    You…

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