#WATWB: Arising from the Ashes

The California wildfires have been the worst in the state’s history, with the City of Paradise being virtually destroyed. An update from CNN as of November 23rd: “After more than two weeks of a raging inferno, firefighters are getting closer to containing the Camp Fire that has killed 84 people in Northern California. At least 475 people remain unaccounted for, down from more than 1,000 days earlier, the Butte County Sheriff’s Office said. California’s deadliest wildfire, which started November 8, remainedRead more

Fear and Tribalism

Who among us doesn’t have the fear emotion? Fear of spiders, swimming in the ocean (sharks!), angry clowns, scary movies, speaking to a large group, dark basements, being alone, etc. I have a fear of June bugs, leeches and failure in critical situations. Who among us doesn’t equate ourselves with a tribe? Tribe of artists, philanthropists, religious leaders, doctors, lawyers, athletes, TV enthusiasts (couch potatoes), chocolatiers, sommeliers, etc. I am in the tribe of government employees, as well as theRead more

#WATWB: Musical Art

By the time that this post is read, the pianos will be gone from New York City until next June. However, in keeping with the theme of We are the World Blogfest, which is to spread light over the dark of the world, this initiative was too good not to share. From http://www.metro.us: There are many signs that summer’s practically upon New York City, but one of the most colorful — and creative — is the annual roll out ofRead more

One-Liner Wednesday: Bridges

I agree. We need many more bridges. While building personal bridges is up to the individual, communities can certainly come together to build physical bridges. The cities of Neenah and Menasha and the Village of Fox Crossing, Wisconsin, came together to do just that. There’s a new trail to follow called “Loop the Lake.” It’s been over a year in its planning, development, fund raising and completion. Loop the Lake opened this past weekend, allowing the community to walk orRead more

#WATWB: A Mobile Movement

“A new type of volunteer opportunity is coming to the Fox Cities this spring in the form of the Give Back Bus. For a small donation, the Give Back Bus will transport riders on altruistic adventures around the Fox Cities area. But there’s a twist – destinations will not be revealed until the bus arrives at its final stop. Trips are generally four hours long and there is no limit to the scope of projects planned. Volunteers could help clean up a localRead more

#WATWB: Inscribed in a Sidewalk

What has surprised me about participating in We are the World Blogfest is that I have learned much about my own community – from the Cycling Without Age program at Brewster Village to the Fox Valley Memory Project to the work that Habitat for Humanity does in the Appleton area. This has been an eye-opening experience in how I have not paid attention to the events and organizations that are doing good things for people in the Fox Valley community.Read more

Nothing and Everything

It’s 4:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon and I have nothing. Nothing in the “inspiration to write something cute and funny” department. Nothing in the “I have a story for you!” department. Nothing in the “here’s another poem or cat photo” department. And, yet… I have everything. I have everything in a job that affords time off during the holidays. I have everything in friends who invite me into their lovely home for Thanksgiving and present a royal feast of turkey, stuffingRead more

The Childrens’ Offer of Peace

“Did I offer peace today?” “Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” ~Henri Nouwen~ On September 3rd, neighbor Deb and I rode the Green Circle Trail inRead more

SOCs: Interwoven

Life is interwoven With last year and this With friends newly found And those we miss Life is intertwined With memories of prior days With dating, marriage, divorce And living separate ways Life is interlaced With community and work With faith and social gatherings And those times that irk Life is intermittent With sadness and joy With richness, then poor And brevity or a smile of coy Life is invention With smart phones and such With new and crazy ideasRead more

#WATWB: The Cycles of Love

Those who know me know that I love my bicycle. They know I ride as much as possible in the summer, as it is a passion on two wheels. While attempting to find a positive story for this month’s “We Are the World Blogfest,” I found two local, cycling-related projects that I hope will bring as big a smile to your face as they did mine. Riverview Gardens – Earn a Bike Riverview Gardens is a non-profit organization in Appleton,Read more

When a Door Closes…

Trinity Lutheran Church of Appleton was founded in 1915 with 15 charter members and three children. Construction of the Allen Street church (shown below) began in 1923 after Trinity’s congregation outgrew its small chapel at Oneida and Harris streets. The building was dedicated in 1925. Sadly, this church and its history will soon end. I came to know the lower level of the church several years ago when I began volunteering for Loaves and Fishes of the Fox Valley. This non-profit, well-runRead more

In Harmony

The “We are the World” Blogfest kicks off today with a plethora of worldwide posts. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts, Damyanti Biswas, Belinda Witzenhausen, Simon Falk, Sylvia McGrath and Ashlynn Waterstone welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month. Click HERERead more