Browsing All Posts filed under »Life Stories«

Joan Larsen’s Far Out Adventures: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place in America’s Southwest

October 4, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   Reimagine a walk in the park… as we all know that the wonderful feeling we get when we “discover” the incredibly beautiful places in our world that just may take us a few steps off the beaten path — or the paved road.  In the Americas, I have kept the national […]

Joan Larsen Reflects: The Third Chapter of Our Lives

September 27, 2017

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By Joan Larsen Happiness is like a butterfly:  the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and softly sit on your shoulder.  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)   Writing a heartfelt, personal letter to a friend — so dear that I […]

Joan Larsen Presents Eileen Rockefeller: Unconditional Love

September 6, 2017

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In this week following Labor Day, we are delighted to welcome writer-author Eileen Rockefeller to join us once again .  Her words remain always deep — and so deeply felt –and you will find yourself, as I do, nodding your head in agreement as she writes.  We, too, find that it is only in the natural world […]

Joan Larsen’s Most Breathtaking Moments in Travel: Killer Whales Come Up for Air

August 30, 2017

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By Joan Larsen It’s a rare moment to capture: whales taking a breather as they swim under polar ice. ANTARCTICA – In the Ross Sea portion of Antarctica, the American McMurdo base has been clothed in darkness for six months. Those “wintering over” spend that time frozen in by the ice until the spring months of […]

Fun and Disaster with Foreign Languages

August 21, 2017

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I was laughing so hard I could barely breathe. “This book was expensive!” he said.  “I’m sorry,” I replied, “but we just don’t talk like that.” Language-translating machines like Google Translate or Babelfish are handy for small, simple things like finding a bathroom, but they are no replacement for a fluent, bilingual human being.   Just […]

Joan Larsen’s World: Close Encounters of the Grizzly Kind in America’s National Parks

August 2, 2017

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By Joan Larsen     August, 2015, Yellowstone National Park … and yet another hiker dead, killed and mostly eaten by a grizzly bear while hiking in the Park. The man, an experienced hiker, actually worked in the park and knew its dangers. Hiking alone especially is not recommended. All visitors are instructed to carry […]

Joan Larsen’s Secret Places: My Glorious Love Affair in Zermatt

July 12, 2017

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By Joan Larsen An unusual love story – the kind you hope for, dream of – has to have had “beginnings”. My mother’s dreams for her only daughter were not wealth and fame. She was a romantic, believing – showing – that when you had love, combined with a romantic life, that life could be […]

Joan Larsen’s Summer Dream: A Hidden Getaway at the Lake House

June 21, 2017

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By Joan Larsen I believe down deep we are all alike. Deep inside us, unbidden thoughts take over our quiet moments in the early darkness of winter. The two of us find ourselves talking – the kind of conversation that usually comes late in the evening when the lights are low. It is then we […]

And How Does Your Garden Grow?

June 19, 2017

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As Spring wears into Summer, Lauriate Roly contemplates the joys of the garden. By Lauriate Roly We have a kind of “End Of Winter” evening at my house. I like to do this every spring for my neighbors.   These friends whom I have not seen since they began hibernation, as I did, right after Halloween […]

Joan Larsen’s Life Stories: A Father’s Quest: Finding Debra

June 14, 2017

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By Joan Larsen So often it is just a single moment in time that will change our lives forever.  Many of us have had such moments as we have traveled the road of life. But a true fairy tale ending as this story has? I would call it rare. I would call it a miracle […]

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

May 24, 2017

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By Joan Larsen   A true story, a cautionary story for all women is about to unfold.  My beautiful young friend in her 40s was about to experience the downside of life in a way that many of us discover in that decade.  Caring for dying parents, one after the other, drains you and often […]

Joan Larsen Introduces Friar Moustache: The Stray Dog Adopted as the Newest Friar in a Bolivian Monastery

May 17, 2017

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From Joan Larsen, a story to delight you ! Meet Friar Bigotón (Friar Moustache), the stray schnauzer, who just became a member of the St. Francis Monastery in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The saint, after which the Franciscan order was established, is known as the patron saint of animals there.  So it is only natural that the […]

Stay Out of My Driveway!

May 15, 2017

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Maybe it’s some kind of equivalent to the crotchety old man yelling, “Hey, you kids!  Keep off my lawn!”  You have seen the signs as you drive around:  Keep Out.  No Trespassing.  Private Property.  Then there are the hand-lettered signs in spray paint, on plywood:  No Turning Around in Driveway!!!  and similar sentiments.  “Geez, touchy, […]

Joan Larsen Writes: No Stiff Upper Lip – Prince Harry Speaks Candidly and Emotionally About His Life Struggles

April 19, 2017

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By Joan Larsen In a voice that is both moving and articulate, England’s Prince Harry has only now come out to the world – to us – about his severe emotional problems following the death of his mother, Princess Diana. Still struggling in his late twenties – almost two decades after losing his mum – […]

Joan Larsen Introduces Eileen Rockefeller: Letting Go

April 12, 2017

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By Eileen Rockefeller So often, in the ups and downs of life, it seems to be our special friends that are our “glue”, the people who hold us together, sharing our joys and our sorrows. We are grateful. Today I am absolutely delighted to introduce you to a woman who is all that to me, and so […]

Lauriate Roly Remembers: No Power that Saturday Night

April 10, 2017

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By Lauriate Roly   “I’ll give you ten dollars”. Well, no… What do you mean, No? If people really want to hear me play because they like it, I don’t need money to please them.  It’s enough for me that they enjoy my playing.  I love to play, and I love to hear myself play.  […]

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,” […]