Sunday, January 22, 2017

The “Ripple Effect”...
     Whatever you call it... act of kindness... a day brightener...
finding “flecks of gold” sparkling in our lives as Jessi Woken suggested... or it just feels good!
     And it gives us an idea of something to do! 
    Share the good things you notice.   
Like these:
     Great kid! 
The car parked on County 24 Blvd seemed to be in a strange place. Then I noticed a guy walking in the ditch... picking up papers. Then I saw the neighbor’s mailbox was missing!
By the time I drove up to the young fellow he was at the neighbor’s front door.
 But no one was home. 
So he explained to me what had happened... he had clipped the mailbox with his car and would bring a new mailbox. 
Of course I got his name and even took a picture with my phone! 
What a great kid to be so responsible and caring! 
And I told him that we probably all have done something like this!

     She knows but isn’t telling! 
Lil Pagel tells how pleased she has been to find fresh squash secretly left on her doorstep. But, she smiled, “I know who it is!” (I don’t think she’s sharing this information!) 

An Irish Blessing... 
Pat LeVesque’s women’s clothing store was nearing closing time when three gals came in. They had just finished practicing singing with a group. They are happy gals and all had just been to Ireland so they decided to sing an Irish Blessing on the owner of the store.
Then they noticed that one clerk was missing... working in another room... and so they all went there and sang it for her too!
And we can enjoy the thoughts it expresses too

May the road rise up to meet you. 
May the wind be always at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
the rains fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.


Thursday, January 5, 2017

The choices we make...

  It's your choice!
         You made a choice.
         Now you're thinking you'd like to change it.
         But you can't.
         You're in a plane that is taxiing onto the runway getting ready to take about 100 other people to their destination.
         But you're afraid of flying.

         You could name whatever situation you might be in after you made your decision!
         So I told myself:  You might as well make the choice to like it.
         In other words, you made a choice and it's an appropriate one... so stop melo-dramatizing it and decide to dwell on the good things it can bring.
         I don't always take my advice.  But after I considered the option of focusing on what I might feel when crashing... I settled back in my seat and closed my eyes to relax.

It was a dark and quiet night

         It was a night flight and in the dark it was easy to relax... for awhile.
         About two rows ahead of me was a young couple with two small children, a boy about 4 and a girl about 2 or younger.   Neither child was enthused about staying in a seat or being held.
         After the flight attendant kindly talked to the boy he settled in his seat.  But the baby girl screamed and fussed and might have had an ear infection or something that led to a period of quiet desperation by her parents.
         They traded turns holding her... feeding her... talking to her... standing in the aisle bouncing her...
         You parents know the routine.
         They were successful for short times.
         Other times the rest of the passengers quietly kept their thoughts to themselves.

At the end of the flight

         I was relieved to get off the plane but I thought I'd like to share “a thought from a grandma” with the young couple.
         Since we just happened to be walking off the plane together I commented as I was passing them: "Just remember: You will survive!"
         They understood the meaning of my comment and immediately shared their frustrations with me.  As we walked to the waiting area, the young wife said: I love them so much and I had thought I wanted another child - but not after this!
         I smiled understandingly and the husband spontaneously agreed that two were enough!
         As we walked to the entrance of the terminal they talked enthusiastically about their plans for the future, a new job... moving to another state, etc.
         Then I saw my daughter waiting to pick me up and we separated.

A smile...

         But I still smile as I hope that although I couldn't help with the problem of their crying child... I could help with their frustration.

        And I wouldn’t be surprised to find out someday that they reconsidered and  added another child to their family!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

 You remember 

it differently! 

Does it matter?

Sometimes you may not remember things from your past the same way someone else does. But it may not really matter anyway!

Except: what if they don’t even know you anymore? So maybe you just laugh and enjoy the moment you are having now.

It could be embarrassing! 

I recently was in contact with a fellow I knew back in elementary school... over 60 years ago.
I recall we “liked” each other back in 5th or 6th grade.

The reason I was looking him up now was because he was the editor of a newspaper in a large city where I found a story I thought was important and he would be interested in.
I “Googled” his name and found out that he had been quite “busy” in the past years. His Facebook page explained he was: “Married 30 years to my fourth wife.”
Four wives?

But would he remember me?

I emailed him at his newspaper. I didn’t explain who I was ... in case he didn’t remember me.
I wrote: I thought you and your readers would be interested in this project... etc. And I signed it: Bye for now, Rosie Hertzer Schluter. (Yes, my maiden name would be the one he might remember.)

The editor replied: “Please keep us informed on this story as it develops. Are you the Rosemary Hertzer that graduated from Roosevelt in 1956?”
I replied: “Yes. I also went to John Ericsson Grade School.”

He responded: “I didn't know you were in the City. I heard you were upstate somewhere. Best Wishes, Ed”.
I replied: "I'm a little south of the Cities. Cannon Falls. I still know you as 'Eddie'!”

He responded: “... and I still know you as Rosemary Hertzer who lived on 27th Avenue near the corner of 43rd Street.”
I replied: “You’re right about the address -BUT I’m not Rosemary... I’m Rosemarie!” (I recall that Rosemary was another little girl who was probably a nice kid but not one of my friends.)

We continued… 

So... it looked like he remembered me and in his next email he wrote: “I'm in Hawaii from October through April. But it would be lovely to have lunch sometime this summer if you're up in the City.”
I replied: “Hawaii? You are a wimp!”
He responded: “Yes, ‘wimp’--I'll admit it. Can't take the winters. But still love Minnesota--mostly in memory and reflection.”

He continued that he did recall me -and my name Rosemarie. Then he added: “The first girl I ever kissed. When we were about six.”
Well, he did remember! 
And so did I.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Warning: this may not be 
   politically correct 

but we're friends!

The Book of Revelation brings laughter?

Who would think you’d hear so much laughter when studying the book of Revelation in the New Testament?  It’s full of such gruesome details. 

Approximately 15 women and men, from different Christian denominations, gather at Wangen Prairie Church every week.  There is no hesitancy about sharing their opinions!  Or their laughter!

And each scripture verse gets a “going over”.

The book of Revelation is filled with symbolism and horrible descriptions of pestilences that will be released on the earth at the “end of days”.

As the group progressed in their study, they came to an interesting point in Revelation 8:1. It stated: “When he opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven…”

They all became very quiet when pondering this serious thought: “silence... in heaven”? 

But then one gal spontaneously quipped: “Guess that means none of us will be there!” 

The laughter bounced off the walls!  I think it’s even possible it could have broken up any “silence in heaven”!

Can you handle not being “politically correct”?

The volunteer board of directors at the local public library was discussing the plan for the staffs’ vacation days for the Christmas holidays.  

It wasn’t until I had heard that religious reference several times that I realized we were not all Christians here. 
I began wondering if maybe we should rather be using the term of winter holidays or something.

At that point I looked at the board chairman and said: Oh, I just remembered... you’re Jewish!

He retorted: “But I put up my stocking!  I accept presents!”
And he had me laughing!

How delightful that we can share moments of humor and comradeship even though we have differing concepts in our beliefs.

(Now I’ve got to figure out what kind of celebration Hanukkah brings that I can enjoy too!)



Saturday, November 19, 2016

The "Ripple Effect"...

“Pass it on!”

The idea of “acts of kindness” has been popularized in recent years. Before that - folks just did it naturally I guess!
Last Sunday was even titled: “World Kindness Day”! (I don’t know how well that came across in some areas on this planet!)
Anyway... I got this suggestion from my son, Scott:  Can acts of kindness be like a pebble dropping in the water and causing a good ripple effect?  He explained: “For all the people pissed off about the election - this is a perfect time to use their ‘pebble’ (meaning themselves) to cause a positive ripple in the ocean in which we all live and positively affect someone near to them.  
“Do what you can... do the right thing for someone of a different color, or religion, or economic status, or just out of spite if that helps motivate you, and begin by creating that ripple.  This is the perfect time, with our problems out in the open, to begin with our own little ripples.”

So here goes my "Pebble - Ripple"...
So I’m starting a new column in the Beacon with some of the good things I’ve seen and I hope you’ll share your stories with us in the future.   

Oh oh!  Warning light in car...    
The warning light in my car came on and showed that I needed to get the oil changed.  My husband had recently died and I couldn’t find any records on when he had last done this.  So I brought it to Soulfisher and they explained their charges.  Go for it, I said.
A short time later, owner Mark Norton came out to the reception area and explained that they didn’t need to do anything.  Everything looked good and all the fluids were at the correct level.  
They had checked on the internet and found the oil had been changed but it didn’t say where.  They think the previous time the mechanic just didn’t reset the button.
It could last another 5000 miles.
I looked at the rust on my old car and wondered if it would even last that long!
But I was good to go - at no charge. 
Keep in mind that I would never have known it was OK -  if they hadn’t taken good care of me!

 Whoops! I hadn’t remembered the price!
Then there’s the time I was getting apples to slice up and dehydrate for the grandkids.  I’m not a grandma who makes cookies... but the kids seem to like these apple slices!  
So I headed out to one of our local orchards and brought a tiny bag of my dehydrated apple slices from last year as a treat for John Zimmer, the owner of the Sogn Valley Orchard.
 I was planning to select some of the softer apples that are easier for me to core.  But the price was a higher than I expected and I must have looked a little disappointed because John asked me: is that OK?  What were you thinking?  
I had been thinking about $10 less. 
He said, OK.  
And I replied, No... you do a lot of work to produce these apples.  Just give me what the normal charge would be.
He smiled and headed to the back room for the apples.
When he came back I questioned him... is this what you normally sell for that price?  He just smiled again.  
I said, “OK, I’ll pay more.”
He refused.
He said my gift of dehydrated apple slices was worth the difference!
(Sometimes it’s really hard to do business with the local folks!) 

Now it’s your turn!
So Pass It On!  Start new “Ripples”!  Share your good stories by emailing them to Rosie at or call the Beacon, 263-3991 or drop them off at the Beacon front desk.

And by starting a "ripple effect" by the good things we see or do... we might help make the world a little kinder - every day!

Friday, November 11, 2016

You change... not me!

The plane was loading and I found my seat.
It was in the middle of three.
I settled in to make the best of the flight home.
I tend to be a bit tense when flying. (Like really!)

You want what?

A woman next to me in the aisle seat (the place I would have preferred) started a conversation.  She asked me if I would move over to the window seat because her friend was coming and had that one and they wanted to sit next to each other.
I considered this although I didn’t want that seat because I don’t like heights and the temptation to look out and see clouds below me is not comforting!  (Yes, I know I could lower the shade on the window.)
But then I had another idea.
If she wanted to sit next to her friend, would she trade her aisle seat for my middle seat?
Then they would be together.
She shook her head strongly and stated: “No.” She wanted the aisle seat.
Oh, I thought... so you want others to change but not you.


I could consider that she might have had a medical condition that she didn't want to share.
But this episode made me smile.  I should probably wonder how many times I also want others to change... but not me.
Anyway, I took the window seat and was really more comfortable than I would have been between the two of them!
But I texted my family that I was not in the seat that had been assigned me.  This was to let them know in case we crashed and all the bodies were burned beyond recognition, etc.  
Yep, I’m that kind of flyer!
But also - once I recognize a negative thought, I can also think on the positive side of flying and how safe it is compared to just driving to the airport!
And somehow just writing this stuff down makes it better.  Guess it helps to laugh at yourself too.

He’s a “what”?

This brings to mind another time I was sitting in the middle seat.  My husband Paul and I were taking an early morning flight to the west coast.  Paul had the aisle seat and the fellow next to me in the window seat was wearing a hoodie and had consumed two or three Bloody Mary’s or something - and it wasn’t 7 a.m. yet!
It crossed my mind that he might be living out the old saying... “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die!”... or was a terrorist.  (I don't know why I had that last thought but I figure they can come in all forms and sizes.)
Because we were so tightly seated next to each other I didn’t dare whisper this thought to my husband. Then the fellow settled down and fell asleep.
When we were almost to our destination he jerked upright and slung his arm across me pinning me in my seat.
My initial reaction was: “Oh SH#%T!  He really is a terrorist!”
But then he looked at me startled and slid back down in his seat.  It was just a muscle spasm.  
We landed without incident and as we walked away from the plane my husband whispered to me... “Doesn’t he look like a terrorist?”  

I just smiled.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

Can religious folk have a sense of humor?

Offensive or not... it's just me!

I figured I wasn’t dressed correctly.  I just hoped nobody would mind.  Or be offended.
The public presentation of Muslim beliefs at the Cannon Falls Library recently had not been publicized much.   
And it was at the same time that I had volunteered to help some folks do some fall clean up at a church.  I’d try to do both.
It so happened that I was one of only a couple people who were there at that time and I got to ask lots of questions.  I love asking questions.   
They were representing a segment of the Muslim community from a northern Minneapolis suburb that was reaching out to share their belief system.   
Apparently they were part of a moderate group and they showed respect for Christian and Jewish religious prophets.  
My apology for my clothing...
The first thing I did in this informal setting was apologize for the clothes I was wearing as I hadn’t wanted to offend them. 
My old jeans and shirt had seemed appropriate for the cleaning project but not for meeting them.
The speaker said they understood and explained that as a woman I had the right to choose what I was going to wear.
That surprised me a little.  I was used to seeing their women wearing full garb covering most of their body.  Now I was also covered but it wasn’t the same!
Asking to shake hands...
A while later as I was getting ready to leave, I went to each of the men and held out my hand and asked if I could shake their hand.  I meant it as a demonstration of respect and as a good-by.
They did shake my hand but one explained that a Muslim man usually would not shake a woman’s hand out of respect for her.
Be careful in Cannon Falls...
That seems to be a nice idea... but if they are that cautious I thought I should really warn them about folks in Cannon Falls.  Here they do more than just shake your hand.  They like to hug you!
I’ve been here for many years and they’re still trying to get me used to that!  :)
Another question...
Also - here’s a question I didn’t ask them.  I wonder if Muslims can laugh at each other like Christians do?  At least the Christians I know!  
You see, someone sent in some more “light bulb” jokes in response to my column last week.
These came from a person named Johnson....  or at least someone using a Johnson email address!  
So don’t be offended.  Just enjoy!  

How many  Christians does it take to change a light  bulb?

Charismatic : Only  1.
Hands are already in the  air.

Presbyterians :  None.
Lights will go on and off at predestined times.

Roman  Catholic: None -  Candles only.

Baptists : At  least 15.  
One to change the light bulb, and three committees to approve the change and decide who brings the potato salad and fried chicken.

Episcopalians: 3.  
One to call the  electrician, one to mix the drinks and one to  talk about how much better the old one  was. 

Pentecostal :  10.
One to change the bulb, and nine to pray against the spirit of darkness.

Unitarians :
We  choose not to make a statement either in favor  of or against the need for a light bulb.  However, if in your own journey you have found  that light bulbs work for you, you are invited  to write a poem or compose a modern dance about  your light bulb for the next Sunday service, in  which we will explore a number of light bulb  traditions, including incandescent, fluorescent,  3-way, long-life and tinted, all of which are  equally valid paths to luminescence.

Methodists :  Undetermined.
Whether your light is bright,  dull, or completely out, you are loved. You can  be a light bulb, turnip bulb, or tulip bulb.  Bring a bulb of your choice to the Sunday lighting service and a covered dish to  pass.

Nazarene :  6.
One woman to replace the bulb while five men review church lighting policy.

Lutherans :  None.
Lutherans don't believe in change.

Amish :
What's a light  bulb?