Day #180: Neighborhoods

Driving in the car always reminds me how many neighborhoods there are throughout our state, our country, our globe, and how vital each one is to the health of our planet. We want all of these communities to thrive because their contributions to our well-being are essential. When visiting, we encourage conversations about what’s important to them, their pride of place, their families … and we reaffirm how much we care about each other. Strangers? Not for long.

Neighborhood get-together

Day #165: Canning Challenged

Last night, for Sunday supper, a dear friend brought me a thank you gift … which thrilled me. Will this Ball Blue Book finally give me the courage to do some canning, overcoming my fear of killing those I love with tainted food? I want to make sauce, the way my grandmother did. Stay tuned. And see those lovely “Happy Clips”? There are beautiful golden words painted on them: “Thankful,” “Grateful,” and “Blessed.” I am. Truly blessed.

Ball Blue Book Guide to Canning

Day #94: Rio Nido

Good friends treated us to a night with Rio Nido at Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club. It’s my favorite music venue, cozy and intimate. The songs were innovative, funny, romantic, smooth, heart-tingling, with exceptional guitars and ukelele played by the trio of musicians who are back together again after their heyday in the ’70s. A perfect winter night, warmth supplied by music and friendship. Watch for their upcoming gigs.

Rio Nido

Day #87: New Friends

I am grateful for the art of conversation. This morning we shared a delightful breakfast conversation with D.B.and R.B., a client and her husband whom we had not met in person. They live two states away, drove to our metropolis to listen to a friend’s band, and invited us to meet them at the Good Day Cafe. Our wait person was friendly, the food was delish, and we found so much in common with these new friends … that’s the best kind of day. Inhabiting the same space, feeling the energy, observing facial expressions, reacting to gestures while storytelling, building a rapport … there is no online experience that can equal sitting down to share a meal and conversation. Until the next time!

Good Day Cafe, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Day #72: Missing a Friend

There are some people in my life with whom, even though they aren’t present every day or even every year, I feel a solid connection. Part of my writer’s group for many years (begun in Maureen LaJoy’s class), I kept in touch with Terry Lovaas. We didn’t agree on politics, or religion, or what we were writing about, but I respected him. We had lively conversations. We read each other’s manuscripts and gave honest, forward-moving critiques. We worked together on videography projects that made us both proud. Terry was brilliant and caring and an inspired dad and husband. He passed away yesterday, still a young man. He will be missed by a legion of friends and writing group members, and his family. I’m grateful Terry is a part of my story. I’m going to miss hearing him laugh, wondering what he would write next. Fare well, Mr. Lovaas. You were one-of-a-kind.

Terry Lovaas

Day #62: Friendship

Who would we be without our friends? The friend I have had for the greatest length of time (I can’t say my “oldest” friend, she’s not) is standing in the middle of this group of neighborhood children celebrating my birthday. The sweet blonde standing next to me (lower right) is very dear to me. I grew up in the Twin Cities, in an apartment in a complex with few children nearby. I waited until my summer vacations and holidays, spending time with my grandparents in my hometown, to see my best friend. Once I started working (at 16) and stopped traveling to that hometown (my grandparents moved to another city), we lost touch. Each of us married, our names were different … even though I searched, I could not locate her. I am grateful for Facebook … we found each other again. A couple of years ago, we traveled for hours to have lunch together. I couldn’t stop smiling. For all of us, time passes but friendship bonds sustain us.

Day #59: Friday Night Game Night

In 2014, we began hosting a game night for six Friday nights during January and February. Steve and I were having a tough time with winter and grief. We suspected that surrounding ourselves with friends and playing games would be a healthy—and fun—prescription. We were right!

The games are designed to fit a theme, several people take a turn hosting an evening, and the laughter, talents, and wisdom are always heartwarming. I am grateful for those warm hearts, the avid game-playing, and the creative efforts of this very dear group of people because, really, it’s not about the games … it’s about the people. If you’re looking for a way to brighten your winter, give game nights a try!

Friday Night Game Night

Year Five began last Friday night. The theme was “Harmony & Understanding,” a look back at 1968 to 1972. Thanks to David for taking photos. Not all participants are pictured here; poor health kept some people away—get well, everyone!)