When it’s just the two of us for dinner on a weekend night—or a holiday—I often pull out pretty dishes, paper mats, and delicate stemware and set a festive table. Fun place settings elevate the specialness of an ordinary Friday or Saturday evening. “Because,” according to Angie Hester Cook, “life is a celebration.”
Life can change in an instant. The death of a husband, no matter how strong or capable the surviving spouse, leaves us shocked and overwhelmed and incapable of putting one foot in front of the other. Especially when young children are involved. David Doyle, and his wife, Anita, know this first hand.
The Orchid Series
A collection of interviews featuring inspiring women over 75 years young. Curious, engaged, active, interesting. The sort of woman I want to be when I grow up!
“God calls you lots of times, and you don’t pick up the phone,” says Jan.
The American Cancer Society estimates ovarian cancer will strike more than 22,000 women in the United States this year. And 14,000 of those women will die. Ovarian cancer is difficult to detect in its early stages and challenging to treat once the disease spreads. According to Marci Houff, “Every woman in the world is at risk of developing ovarian cancer, and a great majority don’t know much about it.” Including
In my attempts to achieve gold-star grandmother status, I’m always on the lookout for ideas to inspire teachable moments. And, not trying to rush the fall season, I can’t wait to introduce you to a new feathered friend with a good lesson behind him. My granddaughter may be a bit young this year, but Mr. Turkey on the Table is all set to head west for his first Thanksgiving in
The first night in her new apartment, Jennifer Clinger sat down to a meal of pancakes and sausage. She’d prepared a combination of breakfast and dinner—“brinner,” she calls it. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she devoured “the best pancakes ever”—in her home, at her table, in her kitchen. “The night I ate those pancakes,” says Jennifer, “was when I knew I would be ok.” Her traumatic and abusive childhood
Thirty minutes before heading to dinner at a friend’s house, I panicked. I had no hostess gift to bring. No scented candle or bottle of wine or fancy note paper. And, according to many etiquette experts, – and my mother – “a good guest does not show up empty-handed.” Like most of us, Kathy Terry had more than she needed or could ever use. She didn’t want more stuff and
In late August 2017, Hurricane Harvey roared into Houston, Texas. It stalled over the nation’s fourth largest city and dumped relentless rain for the next four days. The Category 4 storm flooded two-thirds of the city with 1 1/2 feet of water. Entire communities, and the schools in them, were destroyed. Lisa Clemenceau had raised two sons and, like so many women I meet, pondered what was next. As we
Sherry Hall marvels at how God took the assorted pieces in her life, arranged them for her, and showed her what to do. “It was hard and scary, and I didn’t think I was capable of making it happen,” she reflects. Guiding me through the new and improved, brand new barn in Defuniak Springs, Florida, Sherry points to a wooden sign hanging in the office—We are seldom qualified for the
To me, fly fishing seems difficult. Wading in chilly waters, you wait for a hungry trout to nibble on an elaborate gadget composed of hair or feathers. According to Jen Lofgren, the sport doesn’t have to be complicated or intimidating. “Besides,” she adds, “you learn to appreciate the outdoors, the tranquility, and your beautiful surroundings. After all, trout don’t live in ugly places!” In 1996, a fly fishing instructor took her
We’ve all heard it is good to have a passion, a driving force motivating us to get up and moving each morning. Vic Scoggin’s love affair with a river, flowing almost 700 miles through the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee, began at an early age. Growing up along the winding Cumberland River in Tennessee, the waterway was Vic’s playground. “I learned to swim, fish, scuba dive – my life revolved
In a world where the daily news brings distress at a steady clip, Sandi Swiridoff found a way to warm hearts and make people laugh out loud. When you thought there couldn’t be anything cuter than the puppy’s antics in her imaginative photographs, she added a towheaded, bespectacled little boy to the mix. As she captured beautiful moments between the two, Sandi had no idea what a wild and philanthropic ride she
Folks with illnesses requiring time off from work, individuals with sudden Injuries or disabilities, seniors with smaller incomes, people who’ve lost their jobs, kids in at-risk homes. It is impossible to keep track of everyone who needs help. Many won’t ask for assistance. Some are embarrassed to seek aid. Others don’t know how to get support. One thing is for certain – many faces of hunger exist all across our
As the sun rises, Sharon Maxwell strolls along a beautiful mile-long stretch of beach in the Florida Panhandle. Carefully searching for evidence of night-time visitors in the dim morning light, this early morning walk is a type of peaceful meditation for her. And then she spots them – faint tracks leading out of the water, heading toward the dunes, and returning to the ocean. After two decades, she still gets
For those who don’t know the quiet thrill of sliding down a mountain—carving out turns and leaving tracks in the snow, relishing the scenery and the solitude—it is exhilarating. And always a little bit out of my comfort zone. When I try to imagine doing this with one leg, no sight, or without the ability to use my body to lean into a turn as I careen down a mountain — well,
I recently accompanied a friend to the hospital for a routine, albeit still unsettling, outpatient procedure. Sitting in the waiting area, I noticed a gentleman staff member, dressed in scrubs, who escorted patients to their assigned medical spaces. As he greeted and directed a constant flow of patients, I continued to watch and listen to him. He captured my attention by being an exception. In this world of instant gratification
I have talked about my mid-life move to Nashville—no friends or family here, kids grown and gone. Arriving in town, I read everything I could get my hands on about happenings in our new city. I searched for ways to meet people and create a sense of belonging. Now it is two years later. Mary Hance agrees to meet with me, and I feel like I already know her. Unbeknownst to Mary, she was