Newsletters

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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The Once Upon an Innovation Story

By Jean Storlie / June 22, 2020 /

My story about writing Once Upon an Innovation is more like a chapter book than a simple narrative. Each leg of the journey involved creative challenges, obstacles to overcome, and lessons learned. There were many twists and turns along the way. Reflecting on this journey, I realize that at the same time I wrote Once Upon an Innovation…

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Watermelon Grudge and Loyalty during COVID

By Jean Storlie / May 20, 2020 /

My mom, Lois, was a 1950s housewife with three pre-school kids living in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Lois, a frugal shopper, spotted an ad in the local paper for 50¢ watermelons. Shazam, she was on a mission! When my dad got home for lunch, she rushed out with their only car to take advantage of this…

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#sew4covid

Didn’t Think I’d Be Sewing COVID Masks

By Jean Storlie / April 7, 2020 /

Two weeks ago, my sister sent me an email urging me to apply my sewing skills to make COVID-19 masks. At that point, I’d seen reports that the homemade masks inadequately protect healthcare professionals―and give the general public a false sense of security. So, I resisted (maybe I was slightly lazy, too). She pushed back.…

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Dad, How Will the Animals Read?

By Jean Storlie / March 10, 2020 /

My morning routine was interrupted when my six-year-old daughter, Eleanor, screamed, “No!” I was in the midst of getting myself ready for work and cajoling our son to do the same. Her outburst drew me to the upstairs landing, where I looked down on a conversation she was having with my husband, Jay. He was preparing…

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Wrong Turn Skiing with Susan

By Jean Storlie / February 11, 2020 /

On a brilliant winter day when my youngest child was about three months old, I made plans to go cross-country skiing with my friend, Susan. After months of being tied down nursing and caring for an infant, this was a major outing and big adventure for me. Susan picked me up, and I bid goodbye…

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A Basket Case for Purging

By Jean Storlie / January 9, 2020 /

Grandpa Bill used to say, “Three moves are as good as a fire.” I thought of this quip many times this summer when we downsized from a sprawling suburban two-story home to a cozy, mid-century modern house on a creek. At first, deciding what to do with every single possession we’d accumulated during 29 years…

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