Always a Learner

Susan and I sat at the table waiting for another friend to join us. As often happened in such times, our conversation turned to food—this time, the food of our childhood. Talking about food reminded me of the old building smell and the unvarnished wooden floorboards of Mick or Mack, the first grocery store I…

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The Universe Laughing

“If you ever want to know what it sounds like when the universe goes “Ha! Ha!,” just put a tidy plan on your calendar.”  Barbara Kingsolver  I was foolish. I did just that—not that I was curious—I simply wanted a neat and tidy month. I needed to have foot surgery—nothing major—just enough to lay me…

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The Gift

“Mama passed away about an hour ago.” Betty’s email riveted my eyes to the screen, the words immediately blurred by my tears. Betty is my first cousin and her “Mama,” my 103-year-old Aunt Esther, the last of my Weaver aunts to go. (For those of you who live in the Harrisonburg area, Esther was grandmother…

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Unexpected Consequences

We sometimes talk about unintended consequences—unwanted situations that result from decisions we make. For me, publishing a memoir has led to two situations, not unwanted, but unimagined. I’m calling them unexpected consequences. Both of them have brought richness and joy, along with the reminder that we are stewards of what we have been given. Our…

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A Mississippi 4th

This morning, July 4, 2023, as I was cleaning up the kitchen, my local music station, WEMC, was playing Charles Ives’ “Variations on America.” It reminded me of an evening dinner cruise Wayne and I took on the Mississippi River in 2014. We were on our way home from visiting a dear friend in Rapid…

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Civil Rights Pilgrimage

A pilgrimage is not a sightseeing trip, although one may see many things that prompt reflection. It is not a mission trip focused on helping others, although one may return ready to serve in new ways. It is not a class for learning new facts and figures, although learning of that kind may happen. A…

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Our Sanitorium in the South of France

We didn’t know it would become that when we started. It was just our fourth “cousins’ trip” organized by my cousin Doug, the youngest of my Lehman cousins. He loves to travel and apparently loves to do it, even with relatives. Our first trip took place twenty years ago—a trip to Paris to celebrate Wayne…

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A Gun with Her Lingerie

Aunt Velma concluded her story, “So, for years I kept that pistol hidden in my lingerie drawer.” This comment startled me. It was not something that I would ever have imagined coming from her, a person whose life centered around a pacifist church, one who had prayed for the Japanese children during WW II. She…

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God’s Web of Connection

(My dear Aunt Velma died two weeks ago. She was my father’s youngest sister, just thirteen years older than me, and one of my favorite aunts. She was a master storyteller, never passing up the opportunity to tell us nieces and nephews another story. The one below moved me so deeply I felt compelled to…

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Lullabies, continued

(Note: If you missed my previous November 19 post, “Lullabies,” it might be helpful to begin with that before moving on to this one.) “Thank you for singing me to sleep last night,” I said to my California daughter-in-law the morning after she and her two children arrived at our house the week before Christmas.…

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