All Forward in the New Year


“All Forward!” The command came from James, our whitewater rafting guide. Our inflatable rubber boat was nearing Hell’s Hole, a Class IV rapids with a five-foot drop. The Menominee River had swollen after recent rains and James’s six inexperienced rafters needed all the direction he could give if we were to survive Hell’s Hole. We […]

A Sparky Father’s Love


I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the movie starring Chevy Chase as the father. He earned the nickname “Sparky” after incorrectly wiring the house’s 25,000 twinkle lights. I’m reminded of another use of the term Sparky. Roald Dahl, in his book “Danny the Champion of the World” includes a note at the back. “When you […]

Money Well Spent


A while back friends and I sat at a restaurant enjoying breakfast and discussing the Powerball which had risen to over $750,000,000. “Oh, how I’d love to win,” one friend said, clasping her hands. “I’ve never bought a ticket,” I admitted. Curious about my friend’s animated eyes, I asked, “What would you buy?” “A new […]

Remembering Our Heroes


My husband and I toured Washington D.C. in the spring of 2016 along with a group of forty other people. Our tour guide explained that our index card name tags taped on the wall near our coach seats would rotate. “All will have an equal chance to view the scenery from the choice seats,” she […]

Cool Jobs


How would you like to get paid for taste-testing bourbon, chocolate, or various beers? Would training to be a wine steward and earning the title sommelier appeal to you? Or maybe you’d rather don your cool shades and earn a paycheck by test driving for companies like Ferrari, Maserati, or Lamborghini. The website shares […]

To All the Fitness Fads I Loved Before


I admit it. I’m fickle. I can get caught up in exercise fads, buy equipment, and then, after the newness leaves, the new toys sit. I recently tried to get rid of a stationary bike. “Pedal,” as I’d affectionately named her years ago, sat in an upstairs bedroom for over a year without her wheels […]

Reaching Out to Friends, part 1


  I never dreamed I’d have a feathered friend to rival Happy Feet, a Runner Duck who was the only one who hatched from our incubator a few years ago and imprinted on my husband and me. She pecked her way into our hearts as she followed us everywhere we went and “kissed” our toes […]

Gertie, One Terrific Goose, part 2


E.B. White, in his classic Charlotte’s Web, had the famous spider write adjectives in her web describing the beloved pig. The words Some Pig, Terrific, Radiant and Humble saved Wilbur’s life. I wish E. B. White was still alive so he could meet my pet Canada goose, Gertie. She is some goose or, uh, some […]

Gertie and Doc, the Teenage Years, part 3


Our rescued Canada goose, Gertie, and our pet mallard, Doc, continued to entertain my husband and me. Gertie the goose stretched her neck, getting her head as close to me as possible, and told me stories. I loved hearing the soft, whispery wiggle-wiggle sounds. When I gave them their favorite treat, watermelon, Gertie gave me […]

Gertie, the conclusion


I was anxious to return to our cabin and check on Gertie and the duck since my husband and I had left them on their own. I especially missed Gertie, the orphaned gosling we’d raised. Get a grip, I told myself. Gertie is only a goose, one of the thousands we Wisconsinites hear honking and […]