Blog Posts

Bring Magic to the Workplace

By Jean Storlie / October 29, 2021 /

Yesterday, walking into the local food shelf  where I volunteer, I encountered a staff member dressed as a skeleton. She told me they were hosting a trick or treat event for the community, so the staff decided to dress in costumes. As someone who loves Halloween (my birthday is Oct. 30), I embraced their spirit.…

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Struggling Whether to Finish or Quit?

By Jean Storlie / July 23, 2021 /

Last year, I wanted to resign from a volunteer role about six months before the end of my term. There were many, many rational reasons why it made sense to walk away from a toxic situation. But something inside me wouldn’t let me quit. Every time I’ve faced the dilemma about quitting versus finishing something,…

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Deciding “Who Gets the Gifts?”

By Jean Storlie / April 29, 2021 /

My work group gathered in a cozy room for a team-building retreat. The conference room was tucked away from the hubbub of the main workspaces and high-traffic corridors, adjacent to a comfortable lounge area. We’d worked together for a while and knew each other well. Also, we enjoyed our work and got along. Our plan…

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Building a Fire from Ice

“Building a Fire from Ice” Teaches Innovation Lessons

By Jean Storlie / February 25, 2021 /

My daughter’s Brownie Troop embarked on an outdoor excursion one February evening in Minnesota, about 15 years ago. We were on a weekend retreat, and I’d signed up to build a fire in an outdoor fire ring. Meanwhile the other moms would take the girls to a pond for a curling match. Arriving at the…

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The Day I Made Bode Miller Look Slow

By Jean Storlie / January 26, 2021 /

By Jackson Harkness, Age 11 Trees were zipping past me a mile a minute. Everything was a blur. I was going really fast, too fast to stop. Where was the blue run my parents were talking about? I was really starting to worry. I started gaining speed. Now I was even having trouble turning. My…

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Coincidence and Irony in Bride Doll Gift

Coincidence and Irony in Bride Doll for Christmas

By Jean Storlie / December 22, 2020 /

One of my most memorable childhood gifts came when I was five years old on Christmas Eve in 1961. Dressed in my “Sunday best” outfit at my grandparents’ farm house. This picture captures my memory. But irony and coincidence also lurk invisibly in the background of this image. We had just feasted on Grandma Esther’s…

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Mom’s Reflections Inspire Family Storytelling

By Jean Storlie / November 24, 2020 /

—Lois Storlie’s Reflections, curated and written by her daughter, Jean Storlie. I really liked growing up on the farm. It was a simple life, but my dad and grandpa were big teases. They stirred up mischeif and kept me on my toes! Working in the Field My dad taught me how to drive the team…

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Kayaking against Headwinds on the Mighty Mississippi

By Jean Storlie / September 30, 2020 /

Coming out of COVID lockdown last spring, we bought two kayaks as a new way to experience the many lakes and waters of Minnesota. All summer, family members took turns using the kayaks. Our favorite outings involved exploring local stretches of the Mississippi River north of Minneapolis. Capturing a final hint of summer in Minnesota,…

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Writing Lessons from “Sour Sixteenth Birthday”

By Jean Storlie / August 20, 2020 /

The ticktock of the clock echoed in my ears with each passing second. I’d been silently reciting driving rules like a broken record. It was my sixteenth birthday. At 12:45, my dad picked me up from school and took me to the DMV to take my drivers test. Anxiety surged through my body like an…

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The Story about “The Blueberry Story”

By Jean Storlie / July 22, 2020 /

Our kids begged, “Dad, can you tell us ‘The Blueberry Story’?” Jay used to spin a bedtime tale about picking blueberries in the north woods of Wisconsin. It was loosely based on an episode that occurred when his uncle, as a young boy, had fallen asleep in the woods when his family was picking blueberries.…

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