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January 19, 2017  

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"Good stories" offer up nuggets of wisdom, compassion, humor, and gratitude. Global Snapshots
Becoming the Big Picture
Jessica Neff
In rural Nicaragua, a Peace Corps Volunteer moves far beyond her initial job description and creates a vibrant international connection designed to improve the futures of the children of her village. [more]

The Way I See It
Gloria Fisher
It's easy to be focused on our own backyards. But can looking a little more carefully out our windows connect us with the world as a whole? The way one reader in South Africa sees it, the experience of watching the migration of birds and other wildlife can make a person more aware of the world around them. [more]

NEW Dogs and the People Who Need Them
George Watson
People need people, but dogs need people more. There's nothing quite like a dog to illustrate the value of relationships and the importance of taking responsibility for the things that matter. [more]

Whose Land Is This Land?
Wood Turner
As a purveyor of songs that existed to make a difference, Woody Guthrie created a "national anthem" for the ages and left a legacy of true patriotism. [more]

The Love of the Game
Jeff Cady
With exorbitant professional salaries, petulant sports stars unable (or unwilling) to deal with being role models, and even parents of young athletes coming to blows, are sports really a "goodthing"? One youth sports coach says his game is great for kids and community, and coaching is good for anybody. [more]

A Promise Worth Keeping
Allison Ezell
It's that time of year again. With caps flying and commencement addresses forgotten, the next generation of college graduates is heading out into the world. But with no end in sight to rising costs of education, is there any reasonable way to keep college dreams alive for the youngest among us? [more]

Food, Glorious Food
Wood Turner
How sharing slow, savory meals and meandering conversations with friends, colleagues, and family could very well save the world. [more]

Ten Ways To Have A Happy Holiday Season (Really)
Kerry LaBounty
A personal coach says that if you just remember ten simple things, there's no way you won't have an extraordinary holiday season. [more]

Just Say Ja
Peter Sennhauser
A blushing groom throws traditional marriage to the wind and ties the knot, not only with his bride but also between a veritable United Nations of cultures. Would his wedding day give him a whole new perspective on the world? Well, ja! [more]

Giving Rituals
Susie Hillman
Having a holiday for being thankful is not just an American thing. In remarkably similar ways, people all over the world -- whether in Greece, Egypt, or on Plymouth Rock -- have thanksgiving celebrations. And many people are coming up with their own non-commercial ways to give thanks, adding real depth to the meaning of ritual. [more]

Ellen Cady
What does it take to stay connected to friends when life seems to move at the speed of light? And how much more difficult is it when those friends live far and wide? One writer describes her annual reunion with best friends and reflects upon its importance in these times. [more]

The Best Family Vacation Ever
Susie Hillman
The idyllic summers of our childhoods are filled with vivid memories of glorious family vacations. Or are they? [more]

Pieces of Beauty
Elisabeth Keating
How creative, you ask, can you possibly be amidst the hustle and bustle of your crazy life? Take a simple, purposeful step or two (OK, maybe a leap) with a group of friends and you might find that your world feels a lot more real. [more]

The Root of All Good
Amy Gautschi
Mindfully awaiting her child's arrival, an expectant mother strengthens her commitment to service and firms up her own foothold in her community. [more]

Firmly Planted
Susie Hillman
Plants pursue a never-ending quest for nourishment of the liquid and solar variety. Clearly, the very essence of life. But what can our obsession with plants teach us about our own less elemental - but no less fundamental - personal journeys? [more]

The Unwritten Rules of Community
Joyce McGreevy
Hmmm. If you swipe your neighbor's tantalizing Sunday newspaper, nobody will see you. But consult your instinct -- is that in the "good citizen" rule book? [more]

Girls Rock at Team Sports
Elisabeth Keating
Is your aversion to team sports based on recent disturbing news of parental violence on the hockey ice, the soccer pitch, or the tennis court? Maybe it's rooted in years of being picked last on the school playground? Well, there is a better story. Nowadays, whether it's basketball, softball, or rock-climbing, sports aren't just for the cool kids anymore -- and they're not just for the boys. [more]

A Soft Heart at Rush Hour
Susie Hillman
Resisting the yoga and Pilates bandwagon? Bet you thought you were too sensible, too mainstream for any New Age shenanigans. Like you, this week's GoodLetter writer is no average yogi, but now SHE's got traffic jams under control. [more]

Dad, the Harley-Riding Eco-Man
Sarah Mullen
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22, and guess who's celebrating? What about that guy on the Harley? Not only is he probably somebody's father, he might also be an environmentalist. [more]

Gardening by Heart
Joyce McGreevy
With warmth, wit, and wisdom, author Joyce McGreevy encourages us to look to gardening as a source of creativity, spirituality, and inspiration. In this excerpt from her book, Gardening by Heart, McGreevy gives us a refresher course in the merits of patience. [more]

Honesty Is Indeed the Best Policy
Deborah Vaday
One of our city's finest, a young police officer, really made a difference in my day. I processed his withdrawal transaction at the savings and loan where I work, as my first customer of the day. [more]

No Coincidences: A Story of Safe Havens
Robyn Surdel
The impassioned work of a dedicated advocate for children saves a life and lends energy to a movement. [more]

Hope Takes Flight in Kosovo
Yael Sachs
A hopeful traveler looks just beneath the devastated surface of the former Yugoslavian province of Kosovo and gets a vivid, youthful glimpse of a brighter future. [more]

A Priceless Valentine
Jennifer Johnston
The meaning of Valentine's Day, as with so many holidays, has been obscured in the shopping frenzy surrounding it, as boxes of chocolates and flowers seem to mean more than intangible expressions of love. One mother rises above the din and considers how her son's school has made Valentine's Day worth far more than what money can buy. [more]

Girls Whirl: A Mother-Daughter Bike Trek
Julie Cason
Think back to when you were a teenager. What would YOU have said if your mom had asked you to miss nine weeks of middle school to ride a tandem bicycle from California to Florida with her? Be honest. Would you have laughed? Would you have stared in stunned disbelief? Well, Mackenzie Brown, a Seattle teen, perked up and paid attention. [more]

What Little Boys Do
Pamela Jenkins
"Austin! Did you leave the water running outside?" My oldest daughter stood near the barn, surveying the large area of mud around one of the outdoor faucets... [more]

Children Give Their Two Cents' Worth
Karen Jacobs
As one of your loyal readers, I just want to share what my daughter's school is up to. Her elementary school is the midst of its annual Penny Drive. [more]

Fatherly Forgiveness
Paul Currington
Laughing at Dad or making kind-hearted fun of him is easy. But, says one humor writer, forgiving him is a whole different story. [more]

Fall On Me
Jennifer Hixson
How important are the bonds of family? At the beginning of life on her own, a recent college graduate remembers her unique family's grace under pressure. [more]

Thicker Than Water
Karin Widengren
Time and distance always change the nature of relationships between people. But with brothers and sisters, there's more than enough good reasons to never let that happen. No one knows you better, and who else can you joke about your parents with? [more]

A New American Family
Ellen Cady
The case of the American twins caught in the midst of an impossible, trans-Atlantic custody battle has dominated recent news of adoptions across international borders. But the news is not always heartbreaking. The circumstances of international adoption are creating altogether different but entirely special kinds of families. [more]

Talking Across Our Generations
Amy Gautschi
Grandparents tell the best stories. Their stories remind us the ways our world has changed, connect us across generations, and teach us things about ourselves. When's the last time you took a minute to have a heart to heart with a grandparent or a grandchild? [more]

Worms and All
Pamela Jenkins
I stood in my grandparents' kitchen, watching the steam curl through the air above the big pot on the stove. It was an annual ritual as far back as memory would take me. Grandpa was making jelly. [more]

You Never Can Tell
One morning my cats were making so much noise I couldn't think, let alone hear. When I finally went outside (after about 2 minutes of ceaseless cries) to see what had upset my feline family, I had no idea what, if anything, I would find.... [more]

Random Acts of Kindness
A Letter Every Parent Would Love
Peggy Scheier
Dear Mom and Dad, I'm going to tell you a story about what great parents you were and how well you raised us. [more]

A New Engine for Kindness
Dorene Simonds
My good thing happened when I was 18 years old ( I'm now 40). I was trying to drive home to Maryland from visiting friends in Texas. I was going up the road and all of a sudden my car would just not go. [more]

The Lesson Is Payment Enough
Cheryl Lau
Who says people aren't honest anymore? About a year ago my husband and I went kayaking on the North Shore of Oahu in Hawaii. We left the beach and were driving when I noticed the truck that was driving behind me suddenly veer off the road! [more]

The World Looks Better From The Way Back
Mary Tedd
Recently, my husband and I had the opportunity to do something good for two people who were complete strangers to us. It made us feel so good to be able to do it that I thought I should share. [more]


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