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Having recently been invited by a dear friend to spend a week at a beautiful cabin on the North Shore of Lake Superior, I’m reminding ...

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Along comes my favorite time of the year--autumn-- and I just
stop and marvel at all the spectacular colors.  My small, inexpensive camera is having a field day!  I don't have to motivate myself to get out and enjoy it.  I just look out my window and the fall colors, in all their splendor, make me smile and feel glad to be alive.   Sometimes I can't resist picking up a bundle of leaves and bringing them home, intent on making a collage to remember them forever.

Here's to autumn and its magnificence, along with the words of

famous writers and poets who have deeply resonated with me. I hope my pictures will resonate with you. They are past and present reminders of the joy of autumn.

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree."  (Emily Bronte,
                                                          English writer--19th century)

                                                          "No spring nor summer 
                                                          hath such grace as I have 
                                                          in one autumnal face."
                                                          (John Donne, English poet)

                                                           "Autumn carries more gold
                                                           in its pocket than all the 
                                                           other seasons."  (Jim Bishop,
                                                           American author and

Monday, October 10, 2016


I recently returned home from a four and a half month stay in Germany, which was arranged by my good friends who live near Munich.  My friend Daniella had lived as a foreign exchange student for a year with my family in the U.S. over 25 years ago, and within the last few years she had often encouraged me to come for a long visit, all expenses paid.  I was never able to do it because I had a commitment to take care of my grandchildren. But times and circumstances do change. Sometimes heartbreak and depression lead to new opportunities and spiritual growth.  And a little humor goes a long way towards the healing.  

Having lived with three children five and under taught me a lot about adapting to change, staying calm when the going gets rough, and seeing the humor in everyday life whenever possible. And oh how kids love to laugh!

One of my favorite examples of that came from Moritz, the five-year old.  He knew that I was staying for a long visit, but he was trying to understand how I got to Germany from the U.S.  As you might guess, he also didn't really have a clue as to where the U.S. was located. When I told him that I came on a plane, which first landed in Iceland before coming to Germany, he took his questions to a different level. He asked, "Lynda, do you have a car?"  When I said "no," he was quite surprised and asked if I had a motorcycle.  Again I said no.  He then thought of things that he and his brother had, and said, "Do you have a bike?"The majority of people in Germany do have a bike.  When the answer was "no" once again, he asked me, "Lynda, do you have a scooter?"  He probably thought that I would say no, and he was right, but he decided to try one more time.  We were giggling along the way.  Question number five from a very special five-year old was, "Lynda, do you have a chair?"  At that I burst out laughing harder than I had in years.  There were no "put downs", as I might have experienced with adults, no judgments, just a lot of laughs and a realization, even as a young kid, that people are very different.  The best part he knew about me was that I loved being with kids, playing with them, and more than anything, reading to them.  Nearly every night I read to him and his younger brother and sister.  We read stories in German and in English and we often laughed heartily. I miss those kids and the special way we related.  I spent those four and a half months pretty much living on a shoestring--walking nearly everywhere, even when I took the train to get a little beyond the town where I was staying.  I walked along forests, villages, cities, mountain passes, and lovely beaches.  I spent very little money, but had "the time of my life."  When I got up in the morning my German family had the dining room table all set for me--complete with wonderful German bread, rolls, marmalade, honey, cheese, and delightfully strong coffee.  I was treated like a truly special person.  My friend called me her "Foreign Exchange Grandma."  I was inspired to write a memoir, and having nearly completed it, I dream of the day I might be able to publish it and share it with others around the globe.  And of course the price must be "on a shoestring" because that's how I spent the last four and a half months.  Whoever coined the phrase, "money isn't everything," was wiser than we might ever have imagined.  I'll never have a lot of money, but I'll have a million memories, and many of them will be about wise young kids! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Within a short time, I'll be leaving Munich, Germany, and the surrounding towns and villages and heading home to the U.S.  After almost four months here, I'm ready to return home to Minnesota, the land of 10,000 lakes.  But I'll never forget my time here in Bavaria with good friends.  They've been incredibly kind and generous, and this time has enabled me to do a lot of healing and soul searching, and at the same time to explore the magnificent beauty of southern Germany. More than twenty-five years have elapsed since my last visit to Germany, and more than anything, I feel gratitude for being granted this one-of-a-kind experience. I hope the pictures I've posted will reflect what a beautiful, scenic, and exciting area Bavaria is.  I've met wonderful people here from many different parts of Germany and had fascinating talks. Sometimes it's been hard to see my own country from a different perspective, but I've tried to stay "open," and have hoped that my old and new friends would do the same. We have much in common.

Here are just a few representative photos of my time here.  I hope they are as enjoyable to you as they are to me.

Friday, July 29, 2016


About this time every four years when the U.S. is in the midst of a presidential campaign, things start heating up and passions start to boil over.  I can be as guilty as anyone else, but now and then I remind myself to step back a little and "lighten up."  Maybe this
array of sign photographs I've collected over the years will do the same for you, regardless of whether you're "invested" in the outcome of the U.S. election. Some of them might even help you cool off! 

Hope they bring a smile or two! I'm guessing that a few past presidents could agree with that idea. And one of my favorites, Harry Truman, had this to say:  "Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of this country as Wall Street and the railroads."


About this time every four years when the U.S. is in the midst of a presidential campaign, things start heating up and passions start to boil over.  I can be as guilty as anyone else, but now and then I remind myself to step back a little and "lighten up."  Maybe this
array of sign photographs I've collected over the years will do the same for you, regardless of whether you're "invested" in the outcome of the U.S. election. Some of them might even help you cool off! 

Hope they bring a smile or two! I'm guessing that a few past presidents could agree with that idea. And one of my favorites, Harry Truman, had this to say:  "Children and dogs are as necessary to the welfare of this country as Wall Street and the railroads."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016


The older I get, the more I confess to enjoying being in my comfort zone.  There are times when I could stay at home for days at a time, reading, playing cards or simple computer games, writing emails, or spending time on Facebook.  I used to think of myself as an avid adventurer, but more recently I've traveled "inward."  I haven't wanted to be busy for the sake of being busy or filling up time, or even taking on new adventures and challenges. So for the last two and a half months I've asked myself what I'm doing here in Germany.  There are times when I'm scared to death of even simple things.  One of them occurred yesterday.  For many people it would be no big deal, but for me, a pep talk was a necessity.  And all for a haircut!  Of course that seems quite humorous, but for me the idea of walking around the streets of Munich and then actually setting foot inside a hair salon was something I had avoided for two and a half months.  At first I rationalized that I wouldn't even be able to find it, considering how easily I often get lost.  And then last weekend I realized that I was wanting to go outside even less because of the way I looked.  So off I headed to Munich.  The thought of speaking German to total strangers who were in the fashion business almost made me laugh out loud.  I even asked my friend what I should say.  And I certainly knew that the minute I opened my mouth, and quite timidly, they would know that I was not a native speaker.  The bottom line is that they didn't even seem to care.  No one even asked my name, like they would at home.  At first I wondered why, and then I realized that in Germany you're usually not on a first name basis with a total stranger.  They have two forms of "you", one the informal "du", and the other, the formal "Sie." I was certainly used to that, but not as far as a hairdresser's shop.  So I just sat down and hoped that eventually someone would come up to me and say that it was my turn.  That did happen, but after 45 minutes I was beginning to wonder.  My entertainment during this time was watching the very fashionable woman next to me with her dog.  I must admit to being surprised in seeing dogs go nearly everywhere in Germany, including restaurants and bakeries, but I didn't expect to see one at a hair salon.  It was a novel idea, and I liked it, being that I'm a big dog lover.  Finally my stylist came and offered a handshake--another surprise.  I was glad to finally head back to respectability, and also to leave behind the wasps flying around me. I was glad not to be expected to engage in a lot of conversation like at home, since my German is still pretty basic.  After about 15 minutes my ordeal was over and I walked out of the shop, ready to take on new adventures, however simple they might be.  I had a big smile on my face, bright sunshine, and a feeling like I just might be willing to do that "haircut thing" again before I leave for home in two months.  I mean, seriously, what's next to worry about?

Thursday, June 16, 2016


I've been on a journey over the last five months that I never anticipated a year ago.  It has saddened me and changed my life dramatically. It has also forced me to stretch and grow in unimaginable ways. I'm writing this from Germany, where close friends have supported me and welcomed me in countless ways. When I return home to Minnesota, I'll have much to reflect back on.  Here I've had the time and space and energy to allow myself to re-focus. It's been emotionally draining at times, as many divorces are, and I suspect that those emotions will still be powerful at times when I return home.  And at the ripe old age of 67, I'm not looking forward to re-entering the work force.  But who knows?  Maybe it will be just what I need, financially as well as emotionally.

It's been enormously important to get out in the countryside and

reflect upon what I want the next phase of my life to look like.  It's also been incredibly healing to get out in nature and enjoy a new passion--photography.  The walking has lifted my spirits and given me much to write about.  I decided before I left home that I wanted to work on a memoir, and for once, I'm staying focused on that. Quite often I've had what I thought were good ideas and then let them slip away because I thought they just weren't good enough. Now I know that if the memoir records my truth, nothing else really matters.  And I've discovered that there's a lot of humor in everyday life.  You just have to be "open" to it.  

I will confess to experiencing some homesickness and loneliness and culture shock during my stay in Germany, even though I'm with friends. Despite having some ability to converse in German, the language sometimes overwhelms me. And being more of an introvert, there are mornings when the thought of spending part of the day with friends of my friends seems a little daunting.  But then I remember the words of a couple of good friends--"Don't just stretch, Lynda, go for the gold."  And "remember, not many people get to experience what you do." Of course they're "right on." And it gives me a great opportunity to WRITE ON as well.

What a grand adventure it's been to travel to Munich once or twice
a week and explore such an exciting city.  I feel the giddiness of the tourists at times.  There are hours when I just sit on a nice bench in the heart of the city and watch people stroll by.  It's reminded me of a summer spent in Hamburg nearly 50 years ago.  There are so many places to go and things to see, but I opt for simplicity this time around.  It may be the last time I come here, and I want to savor the moments.

Many years ago my mother often repeated the phrase "time marches on."  Indeed it does, and before I lose another moment, I'd better find my walking shoes.  It's a rare sunny day and I have new paths to discover.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Maybe the reason I'm drawn to quotes of all kinds is because I see my life written all over them.  Kermit's quote made me laugh heartily and wonder how a little frog could have it all figured out, when I struggle BIG TIME!  Maybe it's about not taking yourself so seriously, as I've done much of my life, but even when you do, to remind yourself that it's only a test and the key word is TRYING. That's been my mantra lately--keep trying, despite how lonely and painful it sometimes feels.  And the amazing thing is how things sometimes open up when you try, and trust. Opportunities that you never imagined!  Compassion that you didn't think existed anymore.  

Thank you Kermit and Jim Henson, his amazing creator, for making me a believer once again in the ebb and flow of life and the importance of laughter along the way. You bet it's true--"IF LIFE WERE EASY, IT WOULDN'T BE DIFFICULT!"

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Having the use of a car for two weeks is total luxury for me.  I may not be fleet afoot anymore, but that's generally how I travel these days.  And that's not to prove a point, but out of necessity.  I don't have the resources I once did.  What I do have is pure enjoyment of nature, whether walking or traveling by car to get to parks and lakes and nature trails. Minnesota is abundant with ways to enjoy nature.  So last week I set out to explore as many parks and trails as I could, first by car, and then walking and discovering different
photo opportunities. I am grateful to my family for sharing the use
of a car for a short time.  It's been wonderful.  For me there is nothing more joyful than finding a quiet park in spring where I can hear the sounds of nature and delight in an unexpected surprise.

One of those surprises was a goose who was enjoying his own quiet
time with no one around, only to discover me trying to move past him on the boardwalk.  Luckily I was smart enough not to get too close with my camera or make any sudden moves.Even so, I was a 

little nervous hearing him hissing at me as I walked on to the end of
the boardwalk.  I was happy to make my way through the woods
and along the lake.  My only other concern was about making a wrong turn and getting lost, but that would have been true to form.  I'm good at rationalizing those "getting lost moments," because they often seem to lead to even more interesting adventures.  

So here's to even more fun the 
second time around.  Early spring in Minnesota is often unpredictable, but quite lovely. Yes, really!!

Monday, February 29, 2016


For as long as I can remember, I've remained curious about what goes on in our everyday lives, whether it's animals that make us laugh and teach us what's important in life, kids and their incredible energy and wisdom, or the importance of listening to our own amazing intuition.  How often it's happened that I haven't listened or trusted my intuition enough.  Too often I've strayed away from that quiet, reflective side of myself, often thinking that it's a waste of time and unproductive. And then I read a quote by Albert Einstein--"I have no special talents.  I am just passionately curious."  In reality there's nothing more important to me than being "passionately curious."  It stands out like nothing else.  It's the

way I would like people to remember me.  I've never cared 
much about possessions or impressive degrees or earning massive amounts of money. My family could certainly tell you that. And they'd tell you too that I love the sweet simple things of life, whether it's a memorable quote, a friend's kind words, a beautiful trail through the woods, or a painful lesson learned which led to incredible new opportunities.  And those new opportunities which I never imagined about a month ago are about to open up.  I will share more about that in the coming months.  In the meantime, suffice it to say that I'll never let go of being "passionately curious."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Sometimes one's life makes an unexpected turn, even when it's not your choice. And sometimes that means returning to the area you called home for over four decades.  I left the Twin Cities for many reasons, but mostly because I fell in love.  I thought about the huge change I was making, and I realized that it meant leaving my family and friends behind and starting over in a new city.  It was a big risk I knew, but also an exciting new adventure.  I learned about a part of the country I had never even visited before. I discovered that the people of Nebraska, although much more conservative than Minnesota, are mostly warm and friendly and very accepting of a newcomer.  Finding a new job was scary at age 67, but I found one I truly enjoyed--working with the young children of immigrants.  While their parents were learning English, my co-worker and I were marveling at how we connected with these bright, happy, enthusiastic, and sometimes challenging kids.  I miss them a lot!  On my last day with them, I received hugs and sweet, loving gifts from several parents.  One of the parents took a picture of me with some of the kids and the other parents.  I couldn't hold back the tears.  I loved this job, the young kids I shared part of the day with, the parents, and my co-worker.  No one could have had a better person to work with.  We put a lot of energy into what we did, and it was worth every ounce of it. Kids matter--A LOT! I will always remember the wonderful people I worked with and the kind, loving, parents who trusted us with their children.  Over the holidays the parents made beautiful handmade cards for us with personal messages of thanks.  Both my co-worker and I were moved to tears.

My time in Nebraska was not long--in fact, less than six months.  I anticipated that it would be a lifetime, but that was not to be.  I'm still sad and heartbroken at times, and I guess that's natural since I've only been back home 17 days.  I'm happy to see my daughter and grandson again and live with them until I can get some semblance of order in my life.

I'm not sure if I would make the same decision about moving again.  To be honest, I rather doubt it, but I've always been somewhat of a risk taker.  I'm still a strong believer in the power of love and commitment, and I hope that one day I'll discover that again. But whatever direction my life takes, I can't think of a better place to live than the Twin Cities.  Yes, it gets cold in the winter, but if you love natural beauty and friendly people, progressive ideas, and diversity, it's a wonderful place to live.  RETURNING HOME--it has a different ring to it now!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


My daughter with her son (my grandson) Ben.
About 36 years ago my five year-old daughter wrote a wonderful little book called The Book of Love.  Inside she wrote, "Love your daddy.  Love your mommy.  Love your sister if you have one.  Love your brother if you have one. For 5 year olds to adults."  She finished by drawing a big heart.  It's
My parents with me and my brothers--Bob and Terry
one of my most treasured possessions.  In honor of our

upcoming Valentine's Day, I want to share some special pictures taken over the years which reflect the love my
My dad and I studying together, about 52 years ago.
A love of nature!

My brothers and I at our grandparents farm.
daughter referred to, with a few additions here and there.  I do
Marlies and I at a favorite park, nearly four decades ago.
admit to being very sentimental and old-fashioned about love.
My dad and my brother Terry, about 70 years ago.

I'm sure you'll notice.  My daughter is now 39, but to me she will always be that special little girl!