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Our Un-Mystery Trip: Cumberland Island

When our oldest grandsons were nearly 4 we took them on a mystery trip. “You are going someplace special, but we can’t tell you where,” we said. They were completely befuddled. Cartoon bubbles above their heads might have read, “What’s a mystery trip? Is it safe to go...

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Do You Know How to Hygge?

What is hygge? (pronounced HOO-GA) Think coziness!  A soft blanket A book beside a crackling fire A soothing drink A lighted candle A (real!) Danish pastry A stroll alone or with friends   According to lifestyle journalist Helen Russell who writes in The Year of...

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Giving Thanks 2017

A children's chorus gathers to wish you Thanksgiving blessings. Click just below to hear this rendition, less than 2 minutes long. https://youtu.be/857F4ngV8TY Thank you, dear reader, for gathering around our virtual table here every week. I'm so grateful that we have...

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Wordless Wednesday: Imagine a Mood

    What mood does this tree convey to you? Does this tree help you recall a special memory? What saying does this tree remind you of? Do you ever dream about trees, or a particular tree?  Why do you think the artist drew this? Take a...

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Secrets from Ruthie’s Autograph Book

I found Aunt Ruthie’s autograph book at the bottom of this painted chest under a pile of blankets, dolls, and vintage clothing. Her classmates from Elizabethtown High School class of 1935 Wrote in her autograph book. Some sayings were Sweet, Some were silly. Three...

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Do Real Men Wear Aprons?

Food network star Guy Fieri admits, “I’ve never been an apron fan; it’s all too cumbersome to me.'   The Longenecker men didn’t wear aprons. To his credit, my dad did dry dishes but only on Sundays, and without an apron.   Beaman Men in Three Generations...

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Roz Chast: Cartoonist and Caregiver

    Roz Chast knows about funny She uses a feeble font style Her figures have faint lines Sometimes her humor is subtle Other times blatant as a siren   A New Yorker cartoonist since 1978, Chast plays her fears for laughs, taming anxiety with humor. Oy...

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Six Tips for a Lemony Tea Party

On Saturday, September 30 Jenna and I hosted a lemony tea party With china cups, scones and fancy sandwiches Eight gathered around the table One of them was a birthday girl   What I learned . . . Be flexible. The party date was moved twice from the original....

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Mennonite Women Go Camping

Mennonite Girls Went Camping in the 1940s with a tepee bringing their own food and a box camera   How Many Were There? There were six women – unless a wo/man lurking in the bushes grabbed the camera and snapped this shot. Go ahead and count . . . When Did They...

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Dark or Light, Where Do you Write?

Where I Write My writing studio catches north light. The sun doesn’t shine brightly into my space in the morning, all the better to see my computer screen without squinting. But when I need a change, I sneak into Cliff’s art studio flooded with eastern light after he...

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Help, The Ceiling Has Fallen!

“Janice, hurry up. This is a catastrophe!” My scream pierced the early morning air. I had bounded up the stairs shortly after 7:00 a.m. to check the bedrooms before the Ruth Longenecker property sale. Prospective buyers were already milling through our aunt’s house...

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Grandma Gets a Keepsake

Found: a Forgotten Keepsake “Hey, look what I found, Marian.” My sister Janice ceremoniously lifted a booklet from a plastic bin in Aunt Ruthie’s attic and pushed it toward me so I could have a closer look. I recognized the cover, handmade of Valentine cutouts and...

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Signs and Wonders British Columbia 2017

No, I’m not looking through rose-colored glasses. Even with an iPhone lens, British Columbia really does look this wonderful in the summertime. Flowers frolic in the sun and shadowy woods with sun-dappled trees beckon hikers.   We visited Vancouver and Victoria,...

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Moments of Discovery # 12: A Summer Wedding

Once again, the attic at the Longenecker house has yielded up its treasures, all flat and light-weight, ensuring I will not lapse into collecting piles of stuff in my own home any time soon. So help me, God! All these artifacts are dated 1967, a very good year, the...

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Dolly Parton Stands by Her Man

Dolly Parton stands larger than life in American pop culture. While Cliff and I are enjoying time away to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary, Dolly has agreed to entertain you.   Her Story The cover story in Closer magazine, August 29, 2016 featured “Dolly...

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