Category: Blog

I feel sorry for people who live in warm climates. They never get to experience the incredible kindness that comes in the middle of a massive snowstorm.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, my family drove from Aberdeen, S.D., to Moorhead, MN., for my husband’s basketball game. A friend let us stay at her house while she was gone for the weekend. Our little ... Read More


I grew up with a second family. The Balkanskys took me in when I was in eighth grade and they still haven’t let me go.

I traveled with them on vacations and rolled my eyes like a belligerent teenager when they gave me unsolicited advice. Without fail, I always knew they loved me.

I was especially touched by this letter sent in ... Read More


TRAM (The Ride Across Minnesota) is a five-day bicycle ride that raises money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. While I love the idea of being active for a great cause, biking isn’t my thing.

But it is Harvey Laabs’ thing. He’s from West Fargo, and has been crossing the North Dakota/Minnesota border for TRAM since 1991. Here’s his story.

“It was ... Read More


Have I ever mentioned I have the happiest email inbox of anyone in the world?

Seriously. Who else gets messages each day telling them about all the good things going on in our communities?

I love writing this column so much I would do it for free (but don’t tell my boss that)! I recently got an email from Becky Salberg, of ... Read More


Have you ever been on one of those vacations that requires an additional vacation just to recover?

My dear friend, Ann, celebrated a special wedding anniversary with a trip to Europe with her husband. Ann deals with a lot of chronic pain, so you can imagine the toll that flight took on her body. Luckily, Ann knows the power of kindness ... Read More


I wonder how many opportunities for kindness we miss simply because we think, “It’s none of my business.”

I have driven past people without coats on a cold winter day and averted my eyes when someone was stuck on the side of the road. Have you?

Certainly, no one can do everything, but as the wife who sent in this letter explains, ... Read More


I’m often asked if the state of the world is as grim as it seems. I have to be honest: In my opinion, it’s not.

I get to hear good stories day after day, like this one sent in by Michelle Lund from West Fargo. They remind me that even though we don’t always get to see it, there is so ... Read More


There is a packet of hot chocolate sitting on my desk. I don’t care how cold the wind blows in South Dakota, I am determined not to drink it.

It’s not a weight loss or healthy eating thing. It’s a kindness thing.

I took my boys to Minneapolis for a weekend at the Mall of America to celebrate, well, nothing. We just ... Read More


I remember my first friend. Her name was Tina and she lived down the road from me. It was such a big deal when we were old enough to ride our bikes the quarter mile back and forth to each other’s houses.

Eventually Tina’s family moved to an area closer to town and I ended up moving two hours away. ... Read More


There are kids in your community who are keeping a secret.

They want to participate in after-school activities but they won’t ask. Even in elementary or middle school, these kids already know the state of their parents’ or guardians’ budget.

They won’t ask to learn how to play the tuba or join the football team because they know there isn’t money for ... Read More