The dictionary defines “dummy” as an unintelligent or naive person. In spite of that definition, I don’t mind being called “dummy” when my partner takes the bid at a bridge party. Otherwise, calling me a dummy would be a huge insult. But apparently, judging by their reading tastes, there are […]

“Watch your thoughts, for they will become actions. Watch your actions, for they will become habits. Watch your habits for they will forge your character. “Watch your character, for it will make your destiny.” These wise words often are attributed to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. But on the […]

(This column was first published 24 years ago. The second “This Side of 60” column ever written). I still remember, after all those years away, going back to Daddy’s grave in upstate New York. And how I dreaded it. How could the fun-loving kind Daddy of my childhood lie beneath […]

Like most couples, my husband and I had many differences and many similarities. We grew up in different countries and a continent apart. But, we both grew up on farms. Howard had a natural love of adventure and sometimes lived quite dangerously. He wanted to try everything—at least once! And […]

When I grew up, “I’m reading” was an acceptable excuse when my mother called me to help make supper. And it was always true. I always was reading. That’s why I didn’t know how to cook when I got married. I voraciously read the books in our country school library. […]

Since last week, I have been engrossed in the life and philosophy of Russian novelist and essayist Leo Tolstoy. The novelist, who lived from 1828-1910, came from a long line of nobility. He was the youngest son of a count and a princess. Although young Leo lived a privileged life, […]

Everyone knows how important it is to stay positive. But knowing it and doing it are two different things. There are so many negatives in the world around us and difficulties in our own personal lives, especially as we get older. We easily could give up on trying to stay […]

It was a cold and blustery day but the breakfast picnic had been planned earlier so we went ahead anyway. By the shore of a local lake, three young families fried their bacon and eggs on two Coleman stoves. In order to keep the flame alive and everyone warm, we […]

June is one of my favourite months. Come to think about it, June is my favourite month! Garden lettuce, plump fresh strawberries, sparkling fireflies, bright orange lilies, green grass without watering. Usually not too hot or too cold. June is so lush—especially this year! A little too lush, granted, in […]

Burning the candle at both ends always has appealed to me. After all, you get twice as much light that way. Says Edna St. Vincent Millay: “My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends–It gives a lovely light.” […]

Last Friday, I had the pleasure of eavesdropping on a very interesting conversation. I say eavesdropping because my office is adjacent to the living room so when my husband entertains guests, I can’t entirely block out the sound. And last Friday, he had very interesting guests: Curtis Gaylord, Toby Stucky, […]

My high school teaching career was both brief and, for the most part, fun. I began teaching in a small church-related high school in eastern Canada. A high school with high standards and excellent students. But there was one serious problem. In this very small school everyone had to be […]