I was 9 when my mother and I last worked for the same boss. I was a paperboy for the Winona Daily News and my mother wrote a weekly column called “Whimsey.” She shared observations on life in a small town, being the wife of a pastor and mother of 6 children. Her quips then included thoughts on the topics of marriage, work and school. Read more

When my father suggested he had a plan for the newsletter, I was a little bit hesitant. Inviting my grandmother to be an author on our blog didn’t look anything like what other people in business were doing – which, being a newbie to the business building thing – was often my yardstick.

Cautiously optimistic, I agreed. I am not very good at doing what everyone else is doing anyway. Read more

Never in my life have I been able to mystify my children. They saw through all my object lessons, magic tricks and efforts to get them to make healthy choices. We have no grandchildren. There are three grand dogs but no heirs. Our youngest is getting married this month and — while marriage is no longer a prerequisite — no grandchildren are in sight. Read more

Once upon a time in decades past I was able to mystify my grandchildren.

Some of our six children waited eight or more years after the trek to the altar before they produced children. Then, when they tumbled on to it they collectively produced eighteen cuddly, adorable babies in less than ten years’ time. So for a glorious while we had simply gobs of grandchildren that came regularly to visit. Read more

Who knew our tribe has the emotional DNA to celebrate the 90th birthday of a dead man?

Some years ago and after their collective children were finally all off to school in the fall our daughters began the countdown for their annual get together with their Dad to celebrate his octogenarian birthdays. Read more

It is hard to stomp out of the room in a full-blown snit when you are wearing sheepskin-lined bedroom slippers.

Methinks my stomping days are pretty much a done deal. Even Hugo, my trusty walker, has lost his will to stomp meaningfully. He rolls, he twirls, he affords me a seat on the way to the mailbox—but snits and stomps are truly not his forte. Not today. Probably never, truth be told.

Let me back up a bit to give you the proper perspective on this topic. Read more

Prayer is universal. It is a legacy handed down by the generations ever since Eve first had her trouble with the apple.

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I spent nine months perched on a tractor, trying to plough an arrow-straight furrow on the bald prairie. I learned about windrows and farming, but I admit am blissfully ignorant about Facebook. Read more

If you didn’t have generations of farmers in your genealogy, would you know what a windrow is?

If your sister wasn’t a nurse, could you navigate medical terms beyond stat/BP/ICU/code red from TV dramas? Read more


Lest you think our family is any different from yours, please understand that working in three generations only looks smooth from the outside. Inside, our family has its usual share of mishaps and miscommunications. This post was subject to one of those moments, but after muddling through to the other side, we all agree that Barb’s reflections on the following questions provide wisdom and a view pertinent to our conversation. Read more