Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11C

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This past week Wartburg College Professor of History, Terrence J. Lindell, contacted me through my WordPress account. While conducting research for a course he teaches on the gold rush of 1849, Professor Lindell discovered four letters my three times great-grandfather Rev. John McLeish wrote while on his trip from Melrose, Massachusetts to the gold mines outside Sacramento, California in 1849. Professor Lindell was kind enough to share the letters with me. Continue reading


Life is Amazing

“Life is amazing. And then it’s awful. And then it is amazing again. And in between the amazing and the awful it’s ordinary and mundane and routine. Breathe in the amazing, hold on through the awful, and relax and exhale during the ordinary. That’s just living heartbreaking, soul-healing, amazing, awful, ordinary life. And it’s breathtakingly beautiful.

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”

-L R Knost

Senator Merkley on DREAMers

This week I got an email from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. I want to share it with you.

Dear Alan,

Right now, the futures of 800,000 young DREAMers are hanging by a thread, waiting for Congress to step up and do the right thing. I am calling for immediate action on the DREAM Act to ensure these young leaders can keep contributing to the nation they love.

Today I met Juan from Salem. He loses his job tomorrow because his DACA permit is expiring.     Continue reading

Repaying Meanness with Kindness

This week I experienced more meanness directed toward me, personally, than any other week I can remember for a very long time.

I had a choice. I could return the meanness with meanness of my own, or I could return the meanness with kindness and forgiveness. I chose to be kind.

We have to break the cycle of meanness in our society. I refuse to spread more meanness just because I have been hurt, and I was deeply hurt. We already live with too much meanness and too much hurt. It will not stop until we make better choices.

Please choose to be kind, even when others are unkind to you. Continue reading

The Importance of Gratitude

“Daily discussion of gratitude results in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, energy, and sleep duration and quality. Grateful people also report lower levels of depression and stress, although they do not deny or ignore the negative aspects of life.”


This quote is from a research study by Seligman, Emmonds, and McCollough. You can see the whole article by clicking HERE.

Who wouldn’t want all those positive benefits in our lives? But how do we get there? Continue reading