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Each year, I have a simple Advent practice. I meditate on the creche, and I ponder what or who I might be in the Nativity scene. I’ve been cast as the stable more times than I can count, and somehow, I never get the lead role as Mary. I’ve wanted to be counted among the shepherds, early adop…

It’s that time of year again when we are thinking about what presents to give to our loved ones at the holiday season. Here are a few tips and ideas about what to give to your favorite senior, and also some ideas for gifts that are easy for seniors to give to their loved ones.

Dorcas Reilly passed away a year ago this past October, she was 92, and no, I’m pretty sure you didn’t know her, but one out of three Americans will sit down and enjoy her invention this coming Thanksgiving. Ms. Reilly, you see, was the soupie who invented Campbell’s Green Bean Casserole.

Happiness is an elusive yet powerful mantra to live by. How do we get there? My understanding has evolved over my lifetime. My schooling taught me that happiness is a thing that can be pursued. It was a condition that existed outside of my control that would allow me to be happy. It could be…

I’ve been thinking about winter. Haven’t we all? It is early November and we all know winter is on the way. The sun is lower in the sky. The morning air has an edge to it. Gray skies to the north hold the promise of snow.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gifts means very little stress. Just time with your family and your own traditions. I’m sure some people’s traditions revolve around watching football, playing games or eating certain foods. My family had those, sure, but our best tradition was the “tu…

It’s been several weeks since I’ve written a column. I’ve been occupied with two daughters getting married within a few months of each other, and life in general. Though I don’t think that is really why I haven’t been writing.

Anxiety, stress, depression, suicide, isolation; the physical health of students has always been taken seriously in schools, but mental health is often overlooked. Excused absences from schools across the nation require “legitimate excuses,” and this list rarely acknowledges mental breaks.

My mom was always generous, and Halloween was no exception. As Halloween approached, our kitchen reflected her ramped-up hospitality. Every trick-or-treater received a homemade caramel apple, a homemade popcorn ball and a full-sized candy bar. When concerns about homemade treats became a nat…

In my last column, I described how the Shreya Foundation’s (shreyadixit.org) teen-led Distraction-free Life Club (DfLC) at Eden Prairie High School has been spreading the message of distraction-free driving through peer-to-peer influence. The same column also mentioned how the DfLC teens rea…

In 1955, when I was 5 years old, every boy in America wanted to go as Davey Crockett for Halloween. Disney had created a series of shows around the character, and they spawned what was to be America’s first truly huge fad based on a children’s television show.

Jesus taught his followers to persist in their prayer by telling a story about a woman and a judge. Despite multiple rebuffs, the woman kept coming before an unjust magistrate asking him to render her a fair decision in a conflict with an adversary. The story tells us that for a long time th…

On Sept. 2, 100-year-old Rev. Merton Strommen passed away, and a couple weeks later the title on his featured obituary story in the Star Tribune read, “Lutheran pastor felt calling to dedicate life to young people.” His doctoral dissertation on the needs, beliefs and values of young people b…

The most frequent question I’m asked regarding my daughter’s suicide is “How do you do it?” Well, as the saying goes, “You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.” You just keep going. You hope you make it through the hard days without crying and you celebrate t…

I’ve been thinking about a comment Jesus made concerning “Rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.” (Luke 20:25) The reason I am thinking about this is because I just now filed my 2018 tax return. Taking refuge in the IRS filing extension provision I managed to delay the inevitable until Octo…

When you first meet the love of your life you picture growing old together as the two of you with gray hair (but otherwise unchanged), holding hands and gazing at a sunset. This phrase takes on a whole new meeting when you actually have grey hair and are post-retirement age.

Harvest time is upon us! You would never think of that as you stroll through our beautiful suburban neighborhoods or look upon a skyrocketing crane at one of the many construction sites around town, but harvest time has historically been of prime importance to Eden Prairie. Throughout most o…

We see them everywhere. We see them in movies, and behind the scenes. We see them in magazines with words that seem to pop out at you. We see them all over Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, the biggest and most developed social media networks. We see them at award shows, such as the…

Last week, I wrote about tennis being a lifestyle and a lifetime sport. I received an email from a reader asking for some tips for senior players. It is true that as we get older our body does not always react as fast as in our younger days, but, I must first relate an experience that I had …

Sept. 8-15, 2019 is National Suicide Prevention Week. Each year, 47,000 Americans die by suicide. For every person who dies by suicide, 25 people attempt suicide. That’s 1,175,000 people who are in so much pain they feel they can do nothing but die to make their pain go away. With the United…

Every day many paths lay ahead of us and I invite you to consider taking a path toward race amity. Earlier this month, I was at the William Sears Baha’i Summer School where we came together as individuals, communities and institutions to study race amity. I was so inspired to learn more abou…

Two thoughts come to mind as the kids head back to school: thank God I don’t have to go to school anymore, and I wish I’d thanked Miss Peseux. Miss Marion L. Peseux (rhymes with kazoo) was my sixth-grade teacher in 1961 and she was the best teacher I ever had.

Myth: I hear that I need to pronate my arm to get more speed on my serve, but when I try it as suggested, I get pain in my forearm and I’m less consistent. I must be doing something wrong.

Here’s a DIY fix for your estate plan. Every estate plan should have at least three elements: a will or trust; a health care directive; and a financial power of attorney. A fourth and final element is a letter of instructions for survivors. This is your job. It’s not that difficult to do for…

I have a dear friend visiting from Mexico, so I’m serving up the classic Vanni family summer dinner tonight. Pete’s cheeseburgers on the grill, with the option of a roasted sahuaro green pepper from Marshall’s farm stand plopped on top. Fresh corn (although thanks to this year’s rain, that w…

Five words from the oft-quoted challenge to the nation by President Kennedy in his inaugural address is the title of this column. These words inspired me to pose a question for all who drive on our Minnesota roads. More about that quote and my question a bit later.

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