Browsing All Posts filed under »Life Stories«

Joan Larsen: Let’s Run Away – Three Beautiful Places to Get Lost

February 15, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Let’s be honest here. It’s February – hearts and flowers time – and a reminder that the familiar theme –telling us that “love is in the air” –may well be bypassing us big time. Sure. . . if we are lucky, we have LOVE in our lives. But again, let’s be honest […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: A Kiss is Still a Kiss

February 14, 2017

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By Lauriate Roly Something that never excited me, was to kiss someone. In fact, I hated  it. What an uncomfortable and ridiculous custom having someone grab and crush themselves to you and plant a very uncomfortable and miserably juicy pressure on your comfortable and dry face. My aunt Katy was a horror and demon as […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: Mending the World

February 1, 2017

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By Katrina Kenison My mom, who is eighty, gets up in the dark every morning. She likes to sit near the window in her living room, mug of tea in hand, and watch the sun come up across the pond.   “I don’t know how many sunrises I have left,” she said to me recently. “And […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: The Child and the Robbers

January 25, 2017

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By Joan Larsen I have a story to tell, a tale that lies within me, waiting to come out… a seemingly improbable story that happened in my own family… a story that has marked me, marked my family.  Like it or not, TV and the media have made us voyeurs in the most horrific stories […]

Alice Friedemann: A Gorgeous Weekend on California’s Mendocino Coast

January 11, 2017

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By Alice Friedemann   A long distance call – out of the blue – became an invitation I could not resist.  .  . and a treat I will remember fondly forever.  We know there is something so special about old friends from our youth . . . and this couple had remained so dear to […]

Happy New Year… Happy BUSY New Year!

January 2, 2017

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Well, 2016 was an incredibly busy year for Lila.  Starting last January, Lila got involved with about 40-60 hours per month of collaborating with management at a local nonprofit.  The work is by turns fun, frustrating, and interesting, and Lila learns something new with practically every new project she has worked on in the past […]

Joan Larsen Presents: The Most Magical Holiday Season

December 21, 2016

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by Joan Larsen The years spent in our lovely decorated home waiting for Santa to make his magical, glorious appearance are long past.  The close-knit family of our childhoods seem to have scattered in all directions now. Changes in tradition never seem to be easy.  But after more thought, more talk than you might believe, […]

Joan Larsen’s Sleigh Full of Holiday Ideas: Turning Your Selection of Christmas Gifts into Lifelong Memories

December 14, 2016

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by Joan Larsen   Aren’t the feelings of warmth, of joy and laughter .  .  . but, most of all, of love – what the holidays truly are supposed to be?  Shouldn’t the element of togetherness be forefront in this season?  I think we are all nodding yes.  I am sure you are. But instead, […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: The Magic Violin

December 12, 2016

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By Lauriate Roly There’s a lovely church in front of my house. Mountainview is a tiny hamlet.  There are only five houses, five mailboxes, a lonely and hidden cemetery and a beautiful old fashioned style church that never sees a soul enter there except on very special days, such as Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas. Or, […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living Life By the Moments – A California Dream

December 7, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   In time, and with water, everything changes. Leonardo da Vinci   A long-awaited early December holiday this year – a place we have grown to call “a time away, yet not too far” – has turned out to be an escape not to be believed – and yes, from a world […]

Joan Larsen Thinks Outside the Christmas Box: New Ways to Make the Holidays Last Year-Round

November 30, 2016

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By Joan Larsen   All right. . . I am going to be honest with you this Christmas season. I have been an inveterate gift giver all my life, almost racing – as the days get close to the holidays – to fulfill the dreams of all my friends and family. I am sure you […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Cynthia

November 7, 2016

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By Lauriate Roly Would you like to read a story about me?  It’s true and has hardly ever been revealed to anyone. Our newly bought clothes always needed alterations and adjustment, and Mrs. Allen, my mother’s good friend, was a great seamstress and expert on the sewing machine.  An ancient Singer, which she and her […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: Four Lessons I Learned From Surgery

November 2, 2016

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Once again, we welcome a rare and wonderful writer, Katrina Kenison.  Each of us can identify with Katrina today and in all our days, as we learn to embrace rather than deny the wealth of experience an ordinary life can hold.  We find her open and honest as she shares her experiences in the bewildering, bewitching journey […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Living Through a Rogue Wave in the World’s High Arctic

October 19, 2016

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By Joan Larsen ee ee Even now, more than a decade later, that wave – a wave coming out of nowhere, heading toward our ship with such incredible speed out of nowhere –will forever remain indelibly in our minds. All of those passengers on our ship that were with me that day were seemingly mesmerized by […]

Our Ex-Feral Cat: Happy to be a Pet

October 17, 2016

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Yesterday, 16 October, was National Feral Cat Day.  I would never have known this if not for some cat interactions around our own house some time ago. It all really started over 20 years ago now, when we rescued two kittens from a rather dismal shelter.  My husband called it “taking them off death row,” […]

Joan Larsen Presents Wayne Ranney: Kingdom of Bhutan – Hike to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery

October 12, 2016

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Paradise.  Eden.  In all of south-east Asia, Bhutan remains the secret sanctuary of sanity and peace.  I have been reluctant to share my secret as, frankly, I have wanted it for myself – and managed to keep it that way for some years.  The beautiful quotation from the master, P.G. Wodehouse, is one I find […]

Joan Larsen Presents Katrina Kenison: This is 55

October 5, 2016

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“To really value life is to know this:  the best moments are often the ones we might miss altogether if we weren’t paying attention.” Katrina Kenison As we too become immersed in the latest chapters in our lives, there is something so reassuring to know that we are not alone.  And so it is as […]

A Personal Story From Joan Larsen: Remembering Steve Jobs

September 28, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Moments in life – usually small moments, totally unexpected – are the ones remembered forever.  It was the very late 1970s, at a gathering in one of the beautiful small villages that dot the gorgeous peninsula running south from San Francisco to San Jose, that I met Steve Jobs.  The name then […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: The Aftermath – Love Letters from a Scammer

September 21, 2016

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By Joan Larsen All of us deserve to have happy endings in life.  For my own “adopted” daughter, Diane — a mother with children just out of the nest — the door had been opened for her . . . a new chapter in life seemed to hold great promise. She was older now, more […]

No, We Are NOT All Getting Taller or Growing Bigger Feet

September 19, 2016

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Hey manufacturers: remember that there are plenty of us still around who haven’t grown much in the last several decades. Lila is a mere five feet tall with size 5 feet, a situation that has not changed since… oh, probably about age 13 or so. So when headlines trumpet that we are getting taller, or […]

Joan Larsen Presents Eileen Rockefeller: The Rewards of Labor in Beauty

September 14, 2016

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In this week following Labor Day, we are delighted to welcome writer-author Eileen Rockefeller to join us.  Her words are always deep – and deeply felt… and this week is no exception.  We too believe that spending time in the natural world tends to help wash away our worries and concerns.  It can wipe clean […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: The Big… Balloon?… In the Sky

September 5, 2016

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Lauriate Roly recalls a strange phenomenon. By Lauriate Roly In 1952 I lived in the Town of Mount Royal, a sub-division of Montreal. I had just left home at about 8 o’clock in the morning for my drive to work. It was a lovely clear warm day. I drove a convertible in those days and […]

All I Need to Know, I Learned From Comics: Baltimore Comic-Con This Weekend!

August 29, 2016

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This weekend, for anyone who can make it, is the Baltimore Comic-Con! Hubby and I were fortunate enough to attend the event a couple of years back.  It was apparently an enormous success and drew the largest crowds seen in… maybe the whole history of the event, at least up to that point.  The line, for […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Wonders: The Joy of Having Older Friends

July 27, 2016

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By Joan Larsen     Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, But beautiful old people are works of art. –          Eleanor Roosevelt   I am often known for my good taste in people.  And so, for years, the friends I hold the most dear are the beautiful older people that are presently living the […]

The Gritmobile: My Dad’s Toyota SR-5 Turns to Treasure

July 18, 2016

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Keep something around long enough, and magic can happen. Way back in 1983, my sixty-something-year-old Dad casually announced that he would be trading in his somewhat plain gray sedan and getting, for the first and only time in his life, a pickup truck. “Whatever for?” I wondered. “I just like it. Something different,” said Dad. […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Woolworth’s

July 11, 2016

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By Lauriate Roly I’ve been fortunate enough to have dined in some of the greatest restaurants. None sticks in my memory more than Woolworth’s. From where I worked to my night school classes was about two miles, and I would have to walk that distance, if I expected to use the money I had on […]

Joan Larsen’s Time of Pure Joy: Saving a Baby’s Life on California’s Pacific Coast Highway

July 6, 2016

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By Joan Larsen The very best . . . the most wondrous times of life come to us at the most unexpected moments.  The few that touch our hearts in that certain way stay with us forever.  For most of a lifetime of driving down to Carmel and Big Sur along the Pacific coast of […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: Life and Near Death – On the Edge in Patagonia

June 15, 2016

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By Joan Larsen Death.  If we are to be honest, passing that midway point in our years, the subject of dying, of death, drifts into our thoughts a bit more often than we might wish.  Before this time – well – we felt pretty invincible, didn’t we?  Many of us took chances — often more than a little bit […]

Alice Friedemann in Earth’s Wildest Places, Part 2: Glorious Tebay Lakes in Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias

June 8, 2016

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By Alice Freidemann Photos by Jeffery Kahn Wrangell-St.Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska, America’s largest national park, had only come into being in 1980 – and since then, it has acted as a drawing card for those who are drawn to wild landscapes. The few people who have actually settled there continue to live […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: Hughie’s Story

June 6, 2016

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Lauriate Roly recalls a compelling story from an unlikely source. By Lauriate Roly Hughie was a hermit. He was about sixty years old at the time. He was completely uneducated, couldn’t read, nor write, and how he managed to survive was a mystery. He lived in a tumble-down shack, without walls and almost no roof. […]

Alice Friedemann Goes South of the Border: Oaxaca, Part 2 – Day of the Dead and Other Adventures

May 24, 2016

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By Alice Friedemann Photos by Jeffery B. Kahn Alice Friedemann continues her travel adventures through the Mexican state of Oaxaca.  If you missed Part 1 last month, you can see it at The Magic of Oaxaca. San Francisco has a wild and colorful Day of the Dead parade and altars every year, but it can’t […]