Newsletters

Big Meadow in Norway

By Jean Storlie / April 6, 2018 / 0 Comments

As I set off for school with my older sister, Cindy, I heard the neighborhood kids shouting, “There’s Cindy Big Meadow!” and chanting, “Jean Big Meadow!” I shrunk away, confused and embarrassed, while Cindy went off to figure out what was up. She came back to explain that our neighbors’ Norwegian grandma was visiting, who…

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Miracle on Lazy M

By Jean Storlie / March 7, 2018 / 0 Comments

“Turn off the wind!” 4-year-old Jackson hollered as we paused a short way into our first run of our second family ski trip to Red Lodge, Montana. Everyone was excited to ski Lazy M again, a 2.5-mile cruising run with spectacular vistas. Abby, Jackson, and I were getting slapped by a howling wind as we…

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When You Want to Say “I Quit!”

By Jean Storlie / February 5, 2018 / 0 Comments

Shivering by the side of the pool, my seven-year-old-self did not want to jump into the water. The pool overwhelmed my senses; it was located in the cavernous basement of a 55-year-old YMCA (built in 1909). Kids’ voices echoed off the walls and the damp, rank air assaulted my nose. My sisters were already in…

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A Puzzling Family Gathering

By Jean Storlie / January 8, 2018 / 0 Comments

With sub-zero temperatures predicted for the holiday weekend, we decided to order a jigsaw puzzle and chose a picture of Santa’s Workshopthat was supposed to glow in the dark. On Christmas Eve day, we set up the 1,000-piece puzzle on a portable table in the center of our gathering space. An hour into the project, it…

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Dark Side of Holiday Humor

By Jean Storlie / December 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

After one of my storytelling workshops, a participant handed me his business card and invited me to call him because he wanted me to share his story. Anonymity is important to him, so let’s call him Mike.  Sixteen years earlier, Mike was a rising star as a design engineer. He was being groomed for advancement…

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Cat on a Scooter Frightens Pre-Tween Son

By Jean Storlie / November 8, 2017 / 0 Comments

Halloween Night of 2008, my 11-year-old son, Jackson, was the last of my kids to have friends over before trick-or-treating. His older sisters had moved on from the “childish” fantasies at our house to boy-girl parties and teenage antics. Jackson thought he and his friends should trick-or-treat alone, but his friends’ moms were not on…

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little house

Special Teachers Are (Story) Gems

By Jean Storlie / October 3, 2017 / 0 Comments

I vividly remember the day in third grade when a teacher touched my life. Done with my classwork and tired of staring out at the dreary landscape of late fall in Wisconsin, I wandered over to the bookshelves to browse the books. When Mrs. Athnos came over, I thought I was in trouble … for…

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Storm on Minnetonka

From Peaceful Evening to Stormy Night

By Jean Storlie / September 6, 2017 / 0 Comments

After enjoying a pleasant picnic on an island in Lake Minnetonka, our friend Cindy and I gathered up dinner gear as the sun slipped into the horizon, leaving a splash of color behind. Busy chatting as we set up for a campfire and tucked gear away before dark, we didn’t notice that the sky had…

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Sunset and Fireworks Mark Key Milestones

By Jean Storlie / August 2, 2017 / 0 Comments

When I got home after receiving my lay-off notice from General Mills, I tossed my severance packet on the couch, joined my husband on the porch with a glass of wine, and started brainstorming names for the business I wanted to start.   After working on the naming challenge for about six weeks, I was…

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Passport to Rainbows and Waterfalls

By Jean Storlie / July 5, 2017 / 0 Comments

As he eyed three passports and a Minnesota Driver’s License, a Canadian Customs Officer asked me (the driver) why a Brit, an Australian, and two U.S. citizens (from Georgia and Minnesota) were traveling together across the border at Niagara Falls? I replied that we were attending a conference at the University of Buffalo and wanted…

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