THE ROADMAP

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

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…

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Autism: Awareness, Vigilance, and Encouragement

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 21, 2019. A familiar knot formed in my stomach as the words scrolled across the bottom of the TV screen late last month. A 27-year-old non-verbal woman with autism was missing from her Texas home. My mind flashed back to 2007 when, in the span…

Living With the End in Mind … Lessons From  the Pursuit of Healing

Living With the End in Mind … Lessons From the Pursuit of Healing

  As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on April 7, 2019.  We’re all students and teachers, whether we choose to be — or even realize we are. It’s the give and take of shared experiences, coupled with insights and lessons learned, that help us to navigate this complicated experience called life. Though Cathy…

‘Better Angels’ — Pushing Back on Political Polarization

‘Better Angels’ — Pushing Back on Political Polarization

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 24, 2019 Bill Doherty gets emotional when he recites a favorite quote from President Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic…

Finding a Way Through Alzheimer’s

Finding a Way Through Alzheimer’s

As seen in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on March 10, 2019. It’s been a painful slide into the sunset for Patty Sagert and her family as the man who was a successful entrepreneur and family patriarch has slowly left them, another victim of Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a group…

Change is difficult. And inevitable. And involves choices.

Change is difficult. And inevitable. And involves choices.

  This column originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on February 24, 2019. Bad news comes on many fronts — a cancer diagnosis, a death, or loss of a job. While we often can’t control the circumstances, we can control our response. Which means life can deliver us to a crossroads with a challenge…

“I’m 50 Years Old Now and I’m Still Thinking About That High School Counselor”

“I’m 50 Years Old Now and I’m Still Thinking About That High School Counselor”

This piece originally appeared in the St. Paul Pioneer Press on February 3, 2019. The words “don’t bother” or “you won’t make it” don’t resonate with Miki Huntington. In fact, when told not to bother, her instinct is always to push back, for if one doesn’t try or ask, one will never know. Huntington has done so…