Category Archives: Getting older

#TBT: Mom’s 1993 card

My mother went through various phases of crafting. She exhibited some addictive/creative behavior!

One of those phases was with handmade cards, using some heavy plastic-like material and a tracing tool to make an impression on the plastic. She then colored the raised portion of the card. The process took time and patience!

She had some name for this, which I have long since forgotten. [UPDATE: Sister Karen tells me it’s tarjeta.  I find very few hits for this word on line, but it appears to be a Brazilian and Argentine craft.]

Mom’s 1993 Christmas card was handmade, and I cherish it.

#PostcardMonday: Indianapolis

Indianapolis.  The year is 1999.  I made my first-ever visit there to catch a symphony concert.  Little did I know that I’d be moving to Indiana eight months later.

This card was sent to my paternal grandmother.  Less than a year later, she died of natural causes after suffering with dementia for several years.

“I change people’s lives”

27 July 1996.  An email to my parents, who were living abroad in Argentina.

Summer session at the community college has just ended.  The 1996 Atlanta Olympics were under way. 

Doctoral study was less than a month away.  And I was coming to terms with the enormous responsibility one assumes as a teacher.

My father had printed this email, which we found in his boxes of papers.  I’m glad to have it.

Reminiscences: a note

This precious note was in my father’s files:

JoAnne Howard had lost her husband just a few months before my mother died. JoAnne sang at my mother’s funeral, as she had at countless funerals before.

The funeral home paid her, of course, but JoAnne returned the money to my father with this note.

Jo’s family had been intertwined with ours from our first days in Lee’s Summit. Her youngest son, Greg, was my best friend growing up.

Flash forward: 18 months after Mom’s death, my father returned to the USA from Argentina on a terminal furlough.

And a few months later this lonely man was courting JoAnne Howard.

They were married — this widow and widower — in May 2000, barely nine months after my father began his final furlough, and just a week after he officially retired as a missionary.

That marriage lasted more than 17 years until his death last December.

Reminiscences: moving to Kansas

Found in my father’s belongings: this postcard, addressed to my grandmother, giving my new address in Kansas when I moved there on January 2, 1997.

The “choking back tears” reference proved false. My three years at KU, and most of that also living in Lawrence, were the single best three years of my life to date.

Reminiscences: a new job

This clipping from the local Blue Springs newspaper announces my appointment in 1993 to the adjunct faculty at Graceland College in Iowa. I taught part-time there for three years, whilst also teaching at the local community college and at the University of Central Missouri (as lecturer in music).