THE ROADMAP

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

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Autism: Building Understanding and Helping Families Navigate

April is known as Autism Awareness Month. As the parent of an adult son with autism and a member of the board of Fraser, Minnesota’s oldest and most comprehensive provider of services for individuals with special needs, I took the opportunity to shine a light on a complicated condition and the challenges individuals, families, and providers…

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Aligning Life and Legacy

3/31/17 We’re barely three months into a new year but the losses are accumulating at an unsettling rate. And I’m not talking about the Final Four.  Since January more than a handful of people I care about – my family included – have lost loved ones, several to the pernicious disease known as dementia or Alzheimer’s.…

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Colon Cancer and Courage

3/26/17 It takes courage to stand in front of thousands and be the butt of your own jokes, particularly when the jokes are, literally, about your rear end. But the tagline for author and professional speaker Brenda Elsagher says it all: She offers courageous conversations on humor, health and happiness.  Elsagher has enjoyed two successful…

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“My Dreams Have Come True”

A delightful story about dreams, gumption, and smiles 3/21/17 Caryn’s note: I’m honored to share a guest blog post by author Ann Aubitz. This post originally appeared on blog.arcsvaluevillage.org. At such a young age Katlyn has so much gumption. Her attitude gives me pause – and makes me smile! How about you? For Katlyn’s story, as told through…

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Tossing the Pain Into the Inferno

3/12/17 Camp Widow. Roughly 48 hours of 160 women and a few men sharing, connecting, remembering, rebooting at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel…. I’ll leave Tampa with so many thoughts and feelings about this experience. I don’t actively count the months, much less the days. But the ribbon on my Camp Widow lanyard reminded me…

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Fearless to Shameless

Lessons from a Leash-Less Walk 3/8/17 Sharing wisdom gleaned from experience is not only an exercise in humility, it is one of the most meaningful ways to give to others. This week I’m delighted to share a guest blog post from Lee Woodruff in which she does just that, in a blog she titled “Fearless to…

Photo courtesy of Benilde-St. Margaret

A 3D Gift Spawns Opportunities – and Smiles

3/3/17 High school students ecstatic? How often do you hear that? But such was the response of students at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School (BSM) after several alumni delivered an unusual gift in late February – a $10,000 3D printer. BSM is a co-ed college prep school located outside of Minneapolis. One of its crown jewels is its STEM…

Coach Fleck brought his enthusiasm to the Spare Key gala.

At Spare Key it’s all About the Bounce

2/26/17 When resilience is at the core of an organization’s mission it’s only fitting that its executive director exude tenacity, creativity, and energy. And that his favorite saying (greeted with trepidation and enthusiasm by his staff), is, “I have an idea.” That man is Erich Mische, who, for the past five years has led Spare…

Honored to sport the hair nets with Jordana Green and Sue Zelickson

Feed the Kids, Feed Your Soul

I’m making a pledge for 2017 and I’m looking for others to join me. At least once per month I’m going to volunteer to help others. Last month I donated blood. Yesterday I helped to put food in bags for children who eat nothing – or baked clay – because in some countries (like Haiti and…

Lessons from Life in the Middle

2/16/17 The sandwich generation. That peculiar term that applies when adult children are parenting their children, juggling careers,  driving carpool, and caring for aging parents. It’s the subject of a new anthology titled Here in the Middle.  Curated by Christine Organ and Julie Jo Severson, Here in the Middle is a collection of essays that offer various paths into the…

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Norm Coleman’s Lessons from Loss

2/5/17 When Donald Trump was sworn in last month Norm Coleman witnessed  the peaceful transfer of power, though the New York native had supported several other candidates. I was curious about his view of the Trump presidency and the visceral reactions to it. Coleman has been a Democrat, a Republican, the mayor of St. Paul,…

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Celebrating Five Years at Spare Key: Getting to the Number Zero

2/5/17 Periodically I invite other writers to share their inspirational stories. This week we hear from Erich Mische, executive director of Spare Key, a Minnesota nonprofit that operates on a shoestring but has a large wingspan. Though my family never accessed the services, we surely could have when my daughter was hospitalized for nearly a…