THE ROADMAP

Stories about anticipating, planning for and navigating life’s twists, turns, tragedies, and triumphs.

Lessons I Learned as an Amateur Caregiver

Lessons I Learned as an Amateur Caregiver

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Nov. 10, 2019 As I stood at the podium last month to address a roomful of nurses, memories came flooding back from a time when I, too, was a caregiver, though I didn’t have a lick of medical training. In 2005, my daughter underwent a bone marrow…

How “Best Buddies” Fight Loneliness and Make Life Better

How “Best Buddies” Fight Loneliness and Make Life Better

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Oct. 27. 2019 “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do… .” So begins a Three Dog Night song that hit the airwaves when phones were still connected to the wall. I listened to the song many times in my youth without reflecting on the lyrics.…

Changing the Narrative About Dyslexia

Changing the Narrative About Dyslexia

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Oct. 13, 2019 You’re dumb. You’re lazy. You’re a bad kid. Every day, students receive these messages, explicitly or implicitly, because they can’t learn to read the way they’re being taught. Meanwhile, their classmates learn to identify the letters of the alphabet, as expected. They learn to…

Optimism? It’s Worth the Stretch

Optimism? It’s Worth the Stretch

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Sept. 29, 2019 Is it possible to become an optimist if it isn’t within one’s nature to be so? I’d like to think it is, for though I don’t have both feet in the optimist camp, I wish I did. How does one become more optimistic? In…

We don’t know what we don’t know, and I didn’t know about Gander, Newfoundland

We don’t know what we don’t know, and I didn’t know about Gander, Newfoundland

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press Opinion Page, Sept. 8, 2019 We don’t know what we don’t know. That thought coursed through my brain as I sat in a New York City theater last June and learned about a remarkable display of generosity and goodwill. I never knew there was a place called Gander, Newfoundland,…

Meeting Sensory Challenges Head On

Meeting Sensory Challenges Head On

Image from pyschsciencenotes.blogspot.com This op-ed appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on August 25, 2019 After the early morning rain ended, the promise of sunshine lured us outdoors. Traffic and parking notwithstanding, it was a good morning to visit the St. Paul Farmers’ Market. The air at the market was dense with humidity. Musicians…

The Real Magic at The Fort Happens in the Afternoon

The Real Magic at The Fort Happens in the Afternoon

This op-ed appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on July 28, 2019. It’s like the “Cheers” of tennis. When I walk into the Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center (FWTEC), I, a fairly new member, am greeted by name. And that makes me feel right at home. Perhaps you’ve driven by FWTEC without even noticing it.…

The Heart and Muscle Behind Honor Flights Twin Cities

The Heart and Muscle Behind Honor Flights Twin Cities

This op-ed appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on July 4, 2019. In a townhome in Roseville, Minnesota there’s a lot of red, white, and blue on display today. Actually, that is the decor every day, for the home in which Jerry and Jana Kyser dwell bursts with photos, commendations, medals, flags, and other…

For Would-be Employees and Amenable Employers, Opportunity for a Happy Dance

For Would-be Employees and Amenable Employers, Opportunity for a Happy Dance

  This op-ed appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on June 23, 2019.  Two weeks ago the Internet was abuzz when a joyful Minnesota mom posted a video of her 4-year-old son singing his first tune. The world beamed along with Sheletta Brundidge, for young Daniel Brundidge wasn’t just singing – he was speaking…

Mental Illness: Breaking the Silence and Making a Plan

Mental Illness: Breaking the Silence and Making a Plan

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on June 9, 2019 Mental illness. It seems everyone I know is dealing with it in some capacity. Statistics bear that out. One in four people experiences an episode of mental illness each year. Most are diagnosed in their youth. What are we to do? Dealing with…

Reckoning with a TBI – and a Mission

Reckoning with a TBI – and a Mission

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 26, 2019 It’s interesting how both actions and words can dramatically alter our lives. In February 2014, Amy Zellmer slipped on a driveway coated with black ice. Cradling her small Yorkie in her arms, she couldn’t brace her fall. When she landed on her head,…

There’s Adventure in Mustering Courage to Face Our Fears

There’s Adventure in Mustering Courage to Face Our Fears

  As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on May 12, 2019 As the rain fell on a chilly Hawaiian morning, I had an unexpected rendezvous with fear. My husband had planned a Valentine’s Day adventure that began with kayaking in a downpour and continued with a trek through ankle-deep mud. We’d led an…