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  Monday December 22nd, 2014    

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COLUMNS : JANET BURNS  (ARCHIVES)Back to Current
Awakening from Parkinson’s Disease (03/10/2013)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- by Janet Lewis Burns

“God doesn’t build a bridge over our troubles. He gives us a tunnel through them.”

-Unknown

I noted a spiritual glow melt across my granddaughter’s beautiful f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gifts without price tags (12/25/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Peace on earth is declared new world order! Leaders representing all of mankind engage in largest group hug known to man!”

Though that seems far beyond what anyone can even begin to imagine, a rene ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mothers rule! (12/04/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Those of us who were raised during the rebellious, high-spirited, and “anything goes” fifties and sixties still reminisce, with ardor, about the outrageous era that seemed to catch everyone off-guard, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Random breathing lessons (11/06/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“Lamaze”… The natural occasion of childbirth climaxes with a final breath shared between womb and fetus, a letting go and a holding on in the same fraction of a second. A bond is immediately forge ... 

FULL STORY >>


The call of the wild (10/23/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I left the feather-light, plastic bag sitting beside the library desk, during the mad rush to unload our van, as we arrived back home in Lewiston from our final seasonal stay up at our northern retrea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get a grip on yourself! (10/16/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Being one among the sisterhood of older Baby Boomer gals, many of us retired (and tired,) it blows my mind to note all of the new-fangled, time-saving gadgets and gismos, (some known as h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Still romanticizing the family farm (09/18/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Poets, biologists, lyricists, journalists, Willie Nelson, dreamers, and old farmers jawing over midmorning strong coffee, at the one café in a Midwestern country town, all talk about it. Recalling tho ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mother’s best kept secrets (09/04/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The natural, redeeming act of peacefully succumbing to death, for a sincere, humble Christian like my mother had been, was not the shining armor of courage, as I mistakenly believed, that endears me t ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Moving Restroom Encounter (08/21/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Did you ever have such a bizarre experience that you kept it to yourself because you were so stupefied that it actually happened? She laid her hands on me, in a restroom in a restaurant called Crossro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where was I when my world left me stranded? (08/14/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- My soul is as weightless as the flutter of a baby’s breath against a new mother’s breast. When my legs can no longer support my weakened body I will bend with soothing winds and dance through deep sha ... 

FULL STORY >>


The bedroom window (02/27/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I always felt somehow privileged that our home was situated the second door from Lewiston's 12-grade school, like having front row seats at a live performance, the school was right at our doorste ... 

FULL STORY >>


For love or money? (02/13/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The true measure of a man’s wealth is how much he’d be worth if he lost all of his worldly possessions.

There are but a few things so valuable that it would be impossible to put a price tag on them ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winter’s cleansings (02/06/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Though I’m still in a stupor from the bite of some anonymous bug, likely a foreign invader with vengeance against Midwestern writers (the rest of my family didn’t catch it,) I continue to be held capt ... 

FULL STORY >>


Here’s your sign (01/30/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“Kudos!” “God bless you!” “You’re the best!” “I couldn’t have done it without you!” “You’ve made my day!” etc. etc. etc!

It would be accurate to say that most of us are flattered by ... 

FULL STORY >>


Just plain wrong! (01/23/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It seems that everyone and everything everywhere is turning today’s melting pot of cultures foul. After dealing with all the negativity and arrogant attitudes out in public and on the job, there seem ... 

FULL STORY >>


A time to be old (01/16/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As I took down Christmas decorations this new year, affectionately noting each one as unique and special, wrapping them carefully for future Holidays, and returning each to its labeled bag or box, an  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Creating monsters     (01/09/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns --  How often do we, because we’re human and tend to be wasteful and self-indulgent, take it for granted that there will always be ample stuff at our disposal – for whatever? Our nation has evolved from  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A change of heart (01/02/2011)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Always carry an extra dose of hope with you on your daily journey...you never know when you might cross paths with someone who needs it more than you do. Spread the good news of a Saviors birth!

 ... 

FULL STORY >>


Unmasking the faces of 2011 (12/26/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Now that the 2010 Holidays are winding down, it’s high time to face a new year. Some have optimistic expectations and are looking forward to a new beginning. Lucky breaks have been realized. A clean ... 

FULL STORY >>


The heart of Christmas (12/19/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Through the gray light of an early, winter’s morning, our bedroom wall seemed to be dancing with colored lights, like neon on a city street. As my sleepy eyes focused and adjusted, I entertained the n ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gifts never ending (12/12/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- July 9, 1935: “I did the big ironing. Took me all day. Had 6 pairs of pants, 24 shirts, 6 good dresses, and all the rest.. Went to band practice. Walter and I went to Brethren ice-cream social to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A brother’s missing pages (12/05/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “They are not lost who find the light of sun and stars and God.”

My one brother, Ronnie, passed away on October 7, 2010, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, at the age of 62. It was strange, and heartbreaki ... 

FULL STORY >>


That was then (11/28/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“This ain’t my first rodeo,” Vern Gosdin chortles. Live, learn, and hang tough. With age comes change. Personal habits, quirks, lifestyles, and philosophies don’t usually carry through from one se ... 

FULL STORY >>


Woman to Woman (11/21/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A good man provides for his family’s needs, but the woman is the heart of the home.

As autumn turns its pumpkin face into Thanksgiving’s horn of plenty, I feel the chill of something missing. I remem ... 

FULL STORY >>


Electron conundrums (11/14/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Everybody’s been there. As upbeat as a person might be normally, there are those disquieting moments. Yes, we’ve all gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, and longed to crawl, or dive, back under t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Twittering away an education (11/07/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The Internet may well be stifling minds, robbing individuals of the initiative to think for themselves. I’ve always had the self-satisfaction of calling to mind trivia from my heyday. Now I’m afraid t ... 

FULL STORY >>


These little things (11/01/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Isn’t it amazing that, as we age and accumulate memory after memory, we can recall certain seemingly insignificant bits and pieces from our distant past? You run into former acquaintances from time to ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shooting stars tucked away (10/24/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

I never did anything in moderation. It was always gung ho with me. I even sucked two fingers when I was a baby, when most kids were plugged in to the dependable thumb or the “nuck, nuck.” As a dream ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mealy peaches and stink bugs (10/17/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Need I say more! I figure that when (if) a person makes it to their golden years, they’ve earned the right to complain, voice their jaded opinions, and otherwise whine when necessary...not that anybo ... 

FULL STORY >>


The last dance (10/10/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

She sees the windows dancing. A silenced observer looks back in time, to an early morning sun as it floods into an awakening kitchen. A young mother goes through motions of daily routine, stirring e ... 

FULL STORY >>


Coming to terms (10/03/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Moods turn with the seasons. Wisdom grows throughout years of seasons.

I’ve always been an outdoors person, but I realize, in earlier years I didn’t embrace the splendor and fecundity all around us.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The sound of silence (09/26/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Thomas Keating once said, “God’s first language is silence. Everything else is translation.” A very clever remark!

The imposition of sound:

I didn’t realize how loud it’s become lately! Let me t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Duty to self (09/19/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Our lives are cluttered with tasks to be fulfilled, bogged down with good intentions that needle our conscientious natures, and find us preoccupied with lists and stacks of busy work. Deep-seated drea ... 

FULL STORY >>


On the verge of farewell (09/12/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- We humans say “good-bye” often. People move on. Individuals succumb, their final farewells draped in silent repose. Friends outgrow one another. Divorce is a union stretched to the breaking point. Alo ... 

FULL STORY >>


God’s fingerprints (09/05/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Sometimes I wonder where God is. Had He given up on this corrupt world centuries ago? Is that why it is so evil? I reason, each generation has borne deep scars of sin. God promised, where there’s sin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time for a new tablet! (08/29/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was always a creature of habit, deeply invested in the art of living conservatively. I try to concentrate on where I’m going, leaving the past behind. That way, if I trip, I will fall forward, and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Of life and learning (08/22/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The little things? Brief moments? Small accomplishments? A passing smile? Swift whispered prayers? A short visit? Lingering butterfly kisses? They aren’t little.

Zen Haiku says, “Strange how a teapot ... 

FULL STORY >>


In the wake of the storm (08/15/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- When you find that all the world around you is spinning out of control, take a breather, find a quiet place somewhere within the harmony of nature, where you can clear your head, and remind yourself o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Birds will be birds (08/08/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was one of those deprived, oddball town kids who never experienced the adventure of having a pet. No Lassie to romp with me as I rustled through autumn leaves, or a soft, gray-haired tabby to nestl ... 

FULL STORY >>


Who do you think you are? (08/01/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves, that the line stretches all the way back, perhaps, to God; or to Gods. We remember them because it is an easy thing t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Soul – the lifeline to eternity (07/25/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Our goal as human beings is happiness, and we will find our greatest happiness in the contemplation of God.” –Thomas Aquinas

Every human consists of mind, body, and soul. Contentment is a frame of m ... 

FULL STORY >>


Scrambled notions of a closet thinker (07/11/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Words don’t come easy anymore. Tablet after tablet, I jot down scattered thoughts and one-liners, ruled paper heavy with those disheartening subjects I have shied away from in my column – politics, re ... 

FULL STORY >>


Just hangin’ out (07/04/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- What’s missing in Small Town U.S.A.? Where are all the children and teens hanging out now, since public sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds, friendly looking neighborhoods, and bike paths everywhere pos ... 

FULL STORY >>


Laughable trivia (06/27/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- What did the caveman do to deserve such disrespect? He’s no longer here to defend himself. I mean, “So easy even a caveman can do it?” How low will advertising go? Personally, I love that little Geic ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dad is the man! (06/20/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In light of the present high rate of divorce, the old adage, “The most nurturing thing a father can do for his child is to love their mother,” might put a majority of them at an unfair advantage.

Wan ... 

FULL STORY >>


Paradise lost (06/13/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “The economy right now is 99.9 % global and industrial, which puts it at a greater risk of systemic collapse.” “We’re losing millions of acres of farmland a year to development.” “We’re not investing  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Many faces of friendship (06/06/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

The return: She allows a deep-seated joy to be back at camp guide her down the path leading to the boat dock. The early morning bird chorus is intensified by a series of sputters followed by a hoars ... 

FULL STORY >>


Abiding memorials (05/30/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Once one has experienced a tragedy of loss firsthand, it becomes a part of who they are. From that time on, another’s grief can fan the flames we carry. By understanding and reaching out, we can be a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Skirting deception (05/23/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

I have been suffering from writer’s block. All I want to do is bake brownies and chocolate chip cookies and have tea. This is not a good idea! Since confession is good for the soul, I’ll admit that  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Naked as a tree (05/16/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Splashed across pages of their written work, writers and poets bare their hearts and sensuous sentiments, manifested by readers who absorb their creative images, each one unique and mysterious by virt ... 

FULL STORY >>


High time (05/09/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Does anybody know what time it is? Does anybody really care? The first day of the rest of one’s life is neatly broken into hours, minutes, and seconds. Have I just begun or am I nearly over? No one  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spring into spiritual stability! (05/02/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Today is one gorgeous, titillating morning, April 17th. Here I sit at the dining room table, preoccupied, as I sort out my nightmare of medications, some new, some to be weaned, and all very confusing ... 

FULL STORY >>


Touched by angels (04/18/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “I work at Season’s Hospice in Rochester. Being with the dying in their last hours has strengthened my faith in God and my hope that there is a better life. All the patients come to a certain kind of  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A hand-me-down society (04/11/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Growing up in the ‘50s and ‘60s, the closest thing to environmental conscientiousness was when our parents reminded us to put our empty Pepsi bottles back in the case to take back to the store for a ... 

FULL STORY >>


How to survive well (04/04/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Code “blue-hoo!” A comforting shoulder to cry on needed ASAP! Individual is suffering withdrawal from lack of positive energy! Nursing home TLC no longer effective. Family members desperately needed  ... 

FULL STORY >>


How strange is that? (03/21/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Progress might have been all right once, but it’s gone on way too long.” Ogden Nash has been credited for that witty little tidbit and I think it’s quite smashing! They say that writers are a rare b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Examining human inconsistencies (03/14/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- If, in the past, we would have realized that we didn’t need all the things we thought we needed, we could be rich now. And then what?

Unjust humanity issues are being ignored because it’s ourselves ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dust collectors (03/07/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

You might say I’m a nostalgic, love-at-first-sight collector. When I see it –I know it’s the thing. My heart skips a beat and hums a long-forgotten tune, and I’m smitten.

I was raised in a modest ... 

FULL STORY >>


Backtracking (02/28/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Traversing the outskirts of my childhood home, I realize I can go back in memory only...one has no right to trespass on the lives of others.

As I sit looking out our living room window, nodding off ... 

FULL STORY >>


Heavenly debuts (02/21/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Winter’s long, gray shadows reaching across ridged, unbroken snow speak of solitude. Some rest easy with this, while others feel stranded, buried deep within themselves. That day in January, when I fo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Sunny side up! (02/14/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was just thinking (that’s my nature.) Wouldn’t it be surprisingly pleasant to receive a newspaper with nothing but uplifting, human-interest stories and positive editorials, poems, and columns? As I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Creatures of habit (02/07/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

I’m just fine; it’s my body that’s turned to marshmallows. I sometimes think I’d like to go back to the world of movers and shakers. I miss those outrageous days and nights on the go. At the same t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Don’t color me old (01/31/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals, and say we’ve no money for ... 

FULL STORY >>


The gift of words (01/24/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The first words uttered by man, “yes, dear,” may well have forged the way to the cohabitation of the sexes, leading to a strained and often dysfunctional conundrum, as we witness today. Those who beli ... 

FULL STORY >>


From consumerism to community (01/17/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “The future does not seem as connected to the present as it once did. We feel that something big is about to happen, but none of us knows exactly what it is.” That sentiment was written by Marianne Wi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good old standbys (01/10/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Cheers for the humble lead pencil, pantyhose, toothpick, and scissors! The multipurpose doohickey and that handy thingamajig!

Many of the old staples our parents and grandparents have depended on dow ... 

FULL STORY >>


Words of the simply wise (01/03/2010)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the not so distant past, I was a snob about the books I chose to read. No mindless fiction or those sappy Harlequin romances for me! However, with dictionary and thesaurus at my side, I’m beginning ... 

FULL STORY >>


If only in your dreams (12/27/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“Makes no difference who you are – when you wish upon a star your dreams come true.”

As a New Year looms on the horizon, there will likely be a mixture of sadness and gratitude, togetherness and  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Christmas confession (12/20/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“Jesus is the reason for the season!”  That poster was draped across our front door during the holidays for several years. I look back, with regrets now, seeing it as a self-righteous, judgmental ac ... 

FULL STORY >>


Holiday helpers (12/13/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Back when childhood sparkled with its touch of magic and fascination, Christmastime held a deeper, more heartfelt meaning. It was in those earlier years that the preparation was a big part of the cele ... 

FULL STORY >>


December blues (12/06/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- For those of us who are in our senior years, ready or not, what is it about our childhood flashbacks that cause us to trip over our own shadows as we attempt to follow our tracks back to places we’ ... 

FULL STORY >>


Various notes on identity (11/29/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Sharing family picture albums down through the years can be uncanny. You can’t read between the face lines nor distinguish a cheesy smile from a sincere one.

Freeze frame: Photographs that aren’t pos ... 

FULL STORY >>


The games people play (11/22/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- During this time of year, namely the traditional Thanksgiving holiday, we are nudged to be especially aware of all that we should be thankful for every day. We feast with a loving family, wallow in au ... 

FULL STORY >>


The President’s Lady (11/15/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Eleanor Roosevelt, the 32nd First Lady of our country, will forever remind me of hot dogs! As I read the eulogy that her friend and political ally Adlai Stevenson read at her memorial service on Novem ... 

FULL STORY >>


Voices for the earth (11/08/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Inspiration can flutter through your thoughts as weightless as a baby’s breath or bring you to your knees in a flood of gripping light.

As I search my library’s wall of shelves for a certain book,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Last call for courage (11/01/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Deserted proclamations on brittle, discolored paper will surface again. Through the tried and true, wisdom forever awaits discovery.

Scare tactics! Deceit! Greed! Slander! Racism! Politics! Global W ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good people (10/25/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Each life and every action affects others. In today’s society, people aren’t willing to accept responsibility for their own bad behavior. It seems there’s always someone else to blame. Then there are  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Of spider webs and dust (10/18/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “We need to learn to borrow from nature rather than steal from it.” “There’s no time for untested technologies that may not be a fit for the earth. We’ve got to use technologies that have already bee ... 

FULL STORY >>


Favorable intrusions (10/11/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Why does autumn in Minnesota seem to swiftly take wing, on its way out before the last smart robin turns tail and skedaddles south, and the final rotten cucumbers, overripe tomatoes, and woody carrots ... 

FULL STORY >>


Soul survivors (10/04/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”

Wow! Well said, C.S. Lewis!

The existence of the human body is evident, but go beyond the tangible and things get confusing. Childhood i ... 

FULL STORY >>


With a song in our hearts (09/27/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- What else but people can make such beautiful music together?

For the past 31 years, spring has been ushered in, on the first Sunday of April, in the country town of Lewiston, with the Fools Five, 8- ... 

FULL STORY >>


Please don’t be seated? (09/20/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Folks with physical disabilities and ailments don’t expect special treatment, but is common courtesy too much to ask? This is a plea for kind consideration by store management! It’s not merely Win ... 

FULL STORY >>


The days of senior moments (09/13/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There comes a time when even the most well oiled mind gets rusty and stalls. What’s weird is that one can often recall bits and pieces of the distant past, even experiences that seemed insignificant  ... 

FULL STORY >>


911 FLASHBACKS (09/06/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I have no right to their grief. It was not my personal tragedy. My prayers seemed so shallow at the time. I have not been there to stand in the vacated shadow of New York City’s Twin Towers late at ni ... 

FULL STORY >>


Anonymous heroism (08/30/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others

at whatever the cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” - Arthur Ashe

There is no cheerin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Happiness - within reason (08/23/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A life without scars, failures, regrets, guilt, pipedreams, and an occasional broken heart can be described in one word – BORING! (just joshing!)

Remember all the sappy happy things we said in the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mysterious intruder (08/16/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It was a mystery – the hummingbird feeder on the ground empty every morning that one week up north. It had been filled and secured daily on a shepherd’s staff fastened to the deck railing. I would spo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Randomly speaking (08/09/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I would venture to guess that the average U.S. Citizen (if such an animal exists) spends more time shopping and wandering aimlessly through the malls of America than he, she, (or whoever) spends readi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The visit (08/02/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Life on earth is a sojourn somewhere between human dependence and spiritual awakening. Living to a ripe old age is as much about what’s been forgotten as what’s remembered. She chose to go back for  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Landlubbers ahoy! (07/26/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- We humans are forever seeking. We romanticize over journeys to exotic, faraway places. We plan and prepare, travel far and pay big, get lost and sore feet. When all is said, done, and paid for, we’re  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Practical sacrifices (07/19/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The current economic recession has hit the wealthy much harder than the less prosperous. You can’t lose what you don’t have.

One businessman’s downfall can be another’s upswing. In these depressed ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Identity crisis USA (07/12/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A new class of people has evolved in the USA, in a whirlwind of commercial greed and unrealistic desires. Social-climbing, white collar, suburban couples have spent far beyond their means. Subsequent ... 

FULL STORY >>


Little known facts about nothing (07/05/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- One evening as we sat on our deck, I said to Pat that I think compulsive writing is an addiction of the medulla oblongata. Say what? I don’t know where that came from! Words haunt me! I just happened  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A revolution of values (06/28/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A literary critic once wrote, “I don’t put much faith in writers who write more than they read.” We all have a great deal to learn from each other.

A gentle man with magnetic wisdom, the Reverent Bi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fathers’ Day Genuine Dads (06/21/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Any man can become a father, but it takes someone special to be a “DAD.”

No one has reached perfection in the responsibilities that come with bringing a child into the world – ready or not! It takes  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A ticket to paradise (06/14/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Follow your bliss,” the poet once chortled. One man’s paradise is another’s misery.

“I just do as I please – just breezin’ along with the breeze!” Early morning May air was sharp and chipper! On our ... 

FULL STORY >>


Tomorrow’s Hope (06/07/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

The otherwise gradual demise of Small Town USA is picking up intensely. What seemed to be an ideal place to raise a family is turning into alien, fragmentary, and backstabbing communities in an “I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The art of dinging around (05/31/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Friendly advice to those who may be considering early retirement: certain criteria make the transition more favorable than others. For instance, a natural born tinkerer can easily adapt to the prospec ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beyond the flashbulb (05/24/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Rituals provide points of genuine connection with what is most authentically true…” “Rituals evoke a commitment of the heart.”

–Marianne Williamson

We’ve all done it. We tend to get carri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Of hearts and souls (05/17/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for enough good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

Here I am, back to spiritual research again. Reading others’ meditations and ponderings can broade ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lessons learned (05/10/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Proverbs impart wisdom to ponder. I found this Chinese proverb on a ginseng green tea bag: “One generation plants the trees and another gets the shade.” I wonder, who will be quoted from our era in th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Between the clutter and the keepsakes (05/03/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Wisdom is knowing what to keep and what to let go. Poet Stanley Kunitz once wrote, “I have walked through many lives, / some of them my own, / and I am not who I was, / though some principle of bein ... 

FULL STORY >>


Backtracking (04/26/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Illness can be callous at times. Old feelings surface with a vengeance. The most difficult challenge in one’s debilitation is to accept the things you can no longer do. Instinct cruelly remembers: tha ... 

FULL STORY >>


Springtime – a pleasant intrusion (04/19/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A few springs back, before menacing floods deformed the area, I literally tripped over a sight that shocked me to the core. I was walking along the side of the muddy road through the Arches when I  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Resurrection (04/12/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I stuck my head through blank clouds of a morose day. Drab and listless surroundings uplifted me there, not because of what I could see, but what I couldn’t.

I experienced a revival that day late in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Losing our minds (04/05/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- With my track record of rejecting newfangled home and office conveniences, it’s amazing how far I’ve come! When Burns Builders built our home, early in our marriage, Pat ignored my frugal protests aga ... 

FULL STORY >>


The sound of silence (03/29/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Speaking of silence, who hasn’t been perplexed by that vexing gesture, the silent treatment? I’m inclined to say that it’s a foolish, if not childish annoyance usually associated with puppy love and i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Wilderness of the heart (03/22/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- How exactly does one describe wilderness? Is it a region with specific properties, of certain dimensions? Is wilderness a romanticized uninhabited landscape? Can we get there from here?

Something is ... 

FULL STORY >>


Competition gone ugly (03/15/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

When does competition become vicious? Unhealthy? Greedy? Dangerous? Sinister? Does the question answer itself? It cross ... 

FULL STORY >>


A new direction (03/08/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Technologies have endowed mankind with untold capabilities. As old cultural boundaries dissolve, every American must be open to unifying probabilities the new millennium is propagating. Spiritual le ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winter rendezvous (03/01/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

February is the briefest month, but it seems to be the longest as winter drags on. For me, this February has been a month of celebrations and renewing friendships, busyness and boredom sheepishly s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Beneath the surface (02/22/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Though winter inflicts a great deal of stress and inconvenience on those who must endure and traverse in it, there is an immense awe and tranquility in its magnificence for those whose winters are e ... 

FULL STORY >>


Uncharted territory (02/15/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Tree branches now looking gray and scrawny had thrived this past fall, with leaves of deepest gold and bronze, as seasonal juices flowed through sinewy veins. Their winter vessels are frozen in place ... 

FULL STORY >>


Heroes among US (02/08/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! As the years turn from one to another, it’s been a trend for news media and magazines to share stories of heroism ... 

FULL STORY >>


Barbie and the Redneck (02/01/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Life never ceases to tickle my funny bone. Laughter is an important ingredient in my character. Since I’m no longer out and about in the world of business, I’m forced to laugh at myself and my innocen ... 

FULL STORY >>


Home Fires Burning (01/25/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Our soul is an abode, and by remembering houses and rooms, we learn to abide within ourselves.” -Gaston Bachelard, from “The Poetics of Space”

It’s possible to be your own best friend as well as  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A Universal Spirit (01/18/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- With knowledge comes great responsibility. What will mankind prove in the 21st Century? There are too many individuals who are merely living in the world who are not living for the world. People in ... 

FULL STORY >>


What’s new? (01/11/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It’s out with the old and in with the new! Up with the price and down with the perks!

Every century features new innovations, products, trends, and advanced research. A great deal is geared toward a ... 

FULL STORY >>


Harden not your hearts (01/04/2009)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

“People - people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

In these disturbing times, it seems people are literally repelling people in genera ... 

FULL STORY >>


New Year blues and blessings (12/28/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Regardless what we call it, cabin fever or the humdrums, sentimental woolgathering, or couch potato syndrome, it is sadly true that the final “auld lang syne” leaves a person wanting.

Why do so many  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nuclear horizons (12/21/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Enough solar energy falls on the surface of the earth every forty minutes to meet 100% of the world’s energy needs for a year.” –Al Gore

When we read something like that we have to question, “How  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Planet Earth to Santa (12/14/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A recession can translate into “thrift,” a word that causes Wall Street to shudder.

Today’s’ treasures are tomorrow’s junk. As money gets tighter, the habit of accumulating more and more spendy luxur ... 

FULL STORY >>


Fence posts and weeds (12/07/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I recently realized that I haven’t talked “wabi sabi” for a long time. As a matter of fact, to my chagrin, my recent acquisition of so many new things for our home is far from customary for an aging b ... 

FULL STORY >>


Different strokes (11/30/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Instant gratification – we all indulge in it in one way or another. There is every sort of label for it in this non-linguistic society. (Proper sentence structure, grammar and punctuation ain’t where  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Back home lilacs (11/23/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “T.S. Eliot was right when he wrote, ‘April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire.’”

“ Imprisoned in the city on a rainy Sunday, in a fifth-floor wal ... 

FULL STORY >>


Word for word (11/16/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “It is a good thing to demand liberty for ourselves and for those who agree with us, but it is a better thing, and a rarer thing, to give liberty to others who do not agree with us.” -Franklin D. Roo ... 

FULL STORY >>


Too small to be heard (11/09/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Every summer our four lilac bushes have such few meager blooms that they don’t even make a decent bouquet. Now, in autumn, their leaves have turned deep violet, lime green, and striking mauve, and I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Be responsible and VOTE! (11/02/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- January 7, 1960: President Dwight Eisenhower announces a $200 million government surplus and says he will submit a balanced $79.8 billion budget for fiscal 1961.

As Election Day is fast approachin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Soul searching (10/26/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “To be rooted is perhaps the most important and least recognized need of the human soul.” –Simone Weil

One can hardly be a player in life if they aren’t experiencing it. Personal thoughts, disconne ... 

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Good news/bad news (10/19/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Read it and weep. It seems that all the magazines are rife with politics and scandal these days. The more you read, the more anxious and enraged one can become. We live in a global society of statisti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Portraits of power (10/12/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There’s a song on Bob Dylan’s 1989 album “Unplugged” named “Dignity,” which is a lyrical search for honor, worth, and self-respect. ”Lookin’ into the last forgotten years… for dignity.”

The qu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Escape routes (10/05/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Everywhere I go, there I am!

Reality is a middle-class, American wife pushing buttons all over her ultra-convenient home. Reality is an old woman, bent and richly tanned beneath the brim of a straw ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kids rule! (09/28/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Attention! Attention! Kids are ruling the roost at an extraordinary rate! This is the scoop! No ifs, ands, or getting them off their butts about it!

Enter: a bedraggled, divorced mother of unknown  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Labor’s cost and reward (09/21/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As I write, it’s a glorious, sunny Labor Day weekend, a breath of fresh air! Just to take leisure time to sit outside and to absorb all the lush greens, poignant scents of flowers, high-pitched cresce ... 

FULL STORY >>


That which we share (09/14/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “We are all connected in an inescapable web of mutuality.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We both glared disapprovingly at the young mother as we came together in the toy aisle, two strangers scowli ... 

FULL STORY >>


One life to live (09/07/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Someone may be trying to tell you about living with incurable illness. As someone looks in the mirror every day, the illness is always there; it always will be. “But it’s not terminal!” “You won’t die ... 

FULL STORY >>


Rascals and reunions (08/31/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Reunited and it feels so good…” The closest a senior citizen comes to reliving the mischievous, outrageous antics of youth is by sharing recollections with those they made the memories with.

On Augu ... 

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Do the write thing (08/24/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There is no thing as compelling as truth, when it is achieved by complete honesty.

Just as confession is good for the soul, so, too, is keeping a personal journal. The ultimate would be to share wit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Think outside the box (08/17/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The deteriorating mind scrambles thoughts and garbles words. Its pattern of forgetfulness and confusion is a cruel reality. What’s everybody else’s excuse?

Sparks of creativity are ignited in childre ... 

FULL STORY >>


The spirit of the dance (08/10/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- “Duende” – it’s only a word, but what it signifies is powerful and intriguing. I had never heard of the word before I became impassioned with the notion of it.

Since I began to investigate “duende” m ... 

FULL STORY >>


Storms and anchors (08/03/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Fight or flee! Extreme fear dictates reactions to the human brain. A racing heart, uncontrollable sweating, tightness in the chest, and a feeling of doom and helplessness can accelerate to the “fight  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get down and dirty (07/20/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Some people in the past who knew very little biology were able to use the land without destroying it. We, who know a great deal about biology, are destroying our land in order to use it."¯ - pro-env ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thoughts of the ‘60s (07/13/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Back in high school in the early sixties we didn't think much about "things"¯; we thought about people, and maybe the cold sore we hoped would be gone before prom, the low grade in English that could  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The nature of things (07/06/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- My mind has a mind of its own! I've become awash with afterthoughts.

Throughout the past few years, the time when virility and tenacity regress to forgetfulness and incapacity, my senior experiences  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The record keepers (06/29/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "In the top inch of soil, biologists found an average of 1,356 living creatures present in each square foot, including 865 mites, 265 springtails, 22 millipedes, 19 adult beetles and various numbers o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Someone special (06/22/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"Aging is not just decay, you know. It's growth."¯ "The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yoursel ... 

FULL STORY >>


In your time (06/15/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "In your time the innocence will fall away. In your time the mission bells will toll. All along the corridors and river beds there'll be signs in your time."¯ These are the first lines of "In Your Ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


The last dance (06/08/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- She sees the windows dancing. A silenced observer looks back in time, to an early morning sun as it floods into an awakening kitchen. A young mother goes through motions of daily routine, stirring egg ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost in thought (05/25/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- People travel far and wide to marvel at the wonders of the earth, mysteries of the mammoth sea, the steady course of rivers, and to entertain deep thoughts about the impenetrable sky, but they shy awa ... 

FULL STORY >>


A wealth of time (05/18/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

If the day is too short, it's a sign that you're living to the fullest. Our life's journey can be either a stroll around the block or a cruise across vast, churning oceans. Don't miss the boat!

It ... 

FULL STORY >>


Called to serve (05/14/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "People can take your life without your permission, but they can't take your dignity unless you give it to them."¯ - Mother Antonio

We are all heroes of our own story. Neither gender, societal s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mother’s Day motherhood and hormones (05/11/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- She's her mother's daughter! So often it is apparent, for good or for bad, that a woman, unawares, becomes a carbon copy of her mother.

Anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A feminine touch (05/04/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven"¦or from Hearts Desire, Pier 1, an arts and crafts show, Martha Stewart everyday, Penney's white sale, or from Pieces of the Past. When it com ... 

FULL STORY >>


Affairs of the heart (04/27/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the world of mundane day-to-day routine, we are infested with news reports of tawdry affairs. Who can forget the one line that made Jimmy Carter as human in the public eye as anyone else? "I've l ... 

FULL STORY >>


The wayward heart (04/20/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

This is my letter to the world,

That never wrote to me, -

The simple news that Nature told,

With tender majesty.

Her message is committed

To hands I cannot see;

For love of her ... 

FULL STORY >>


A miracle on the tracks (04/13/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A railroad train and a little Lewiston girl became big news in Winona's Republican-Herald on July 15, 1939! There may be some who will recall the incident. It was news to me, as I read the newspaper a ... 

FULL STORY >>


The junk drawer (04/06/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Everyone has them! It's the first and the last place you look when you need that whatchamacallit. Your initial search is swift and reckless, the drawer left in a helter-skelter disarray! So you loo ... 

FULL STORY >>


A healthy dose of Easter (03/26/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Skip the sugar and go for the spice! The spice of life can be different things to different people. The individuals who cross our paths richly season life, as one encounter leads to another throughout ... 

FULL STORY >>


Birds of a feather (03/23/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Peek-a-boo! Spring creeps up on us, not abruptly like winter with its bitter vengeance, but in ripples of winking, awakening streams, through spring green artfully turned from drabness, and in the t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lewiston then and now (03/16/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I imagine every small town that remains a small town will always possess some element of its beginnings: original buildings, refurbished or not, the main drag, town ancestors, a giant tree spared on s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Inklings from the other side (03/09/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "We may not always notice, but each of us carries around an interior reflection of heaven all the time. The poet points out that we all enjoy the shade of heaven's broad protection - individually and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Write on! (03/02/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Impatient young writers, keep the faith! It took four-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, American poet Robert Frost, more than 20 years from the time his first poem was printed in a high school mag ... 

FULL STORY >>


The risk factor (02/24/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- You don't see things as they are. You see things as you are. Americans have been spoiled and disillusioned for decades!

We have been programmed to believe that we live in a risk-free society. Our c ... 

FULL STORY >>


The eyes have it! (02/17/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A recent eye-opening fad has been sweeping through subway terminals in American cities. It seems certain individuals are catching subway rides without their pants on (on purpose). What is the statemen ... 

FULL STORY >>


If the truth be known (02/10/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "By being denied facts of our history, they (young American students) are at a decided disadvantage when it comes to reasoning and thinking through the issues of today."¯ "The bottom line is that we h ... 

FULL STORY >>


Good grief (02/03/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks regularly."¯ -Andrew Harvey

It's funny how something you read or hea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Stifle it! (01/27/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Television news - is nothing sacred anymore? All you ever wanted to know about exploited, distasteful stories of the day is repeated again and again, just in case you might have missed something in th ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winter’s illusive dreams (01/20/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Today we older adults can relive bygone winters by delighting in watching the children, as they gleefully roughhouse and sled through the byways of snow. "If only I could go back just one more time,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Elderly wisecracks (01/13/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Don't burn bridges. You'll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river. The white-headed, the eccentric, and the curmudgeon are often the butt of tasteless jokes, accusing them of "se ... 

FULL STORY >>


The Victorian tea (01/06/2008)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It was the first time I'd been invited to a Victorian tea, and in a perfectly charming setting with others of "my own kind"¯. A girl thing!

A Lewiston school chum from the ‘50s asked me to join ... 

FULL STORY >>


Resolution solution (12/30/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Most of the great triumphs and tragedies of history are caused, not by people being fundamentally good or fundamentally evil, but by people being fundamentally people."¯

-Terry Pratchett

A foolpro ... 

FULL STORY >>


A fair gift exchange (12/23/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- For many city dwellers, the outdoors is what one passes through from a taxi to an office or a restaurant. Others, always rushing, don't pause to see what lies all around them. In the seclusion of thei ... 

FULL STORY >>


Blessings in disguise (12/16/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "As a young doctor, I thought that serving life was a thing of drama and action and split-second judgment calls. A question of going sleepless and riding in ambulances and outwitting the angel of deat ... 

FULL STORY >>


On holiday time (12/09/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Those things this new millennium generation no longer takes time for is a nostalgic litany of "'remember when."¯ Maybe we celebrated frugally and gave only gifts that we had money for at the time. May ... 

FULL STORY >>


Gentle on the mind (12/02/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Prayer does not use artificial energy, doesn't burn up any fossil fuel, and doesn't pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance."¯ - Margaret Mead

Does a girl ever forget h ... 

FULL STORY >>


The bedroom window (11/25/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Our family lived the second door north of Lewiston's 12-grade school throughout our years on Fremont Street. I always felt somehow privileged that our home was situated there, like having a front ro ... 

FULL STORY >>


Thanksgiving reflections (11/18/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Judge success by the degree that you're enjoying peace, friendship, health, and love"¦then thank someone. It's been said that a man is tallest when on his knees.

The things we take for granted here i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Friends and lovers (11/11/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness."¯

-The Dalai Lama

Kind ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost and found (11/04/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The task seemed overwhelming! As the years drop away, cardboard boxes on closet shelves stack up. Pat and I have been on a mission to sort through every inch of storage space and to clean out.

The my ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dust to dust (10/28/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Upon losing a lifelong partner, the one who remains might reflect on their harmonious and happy relationship, while another may have lived with abuse, or one might proclaim that they were worlds apa ... 

FULL STORY >>


The gratitude attitude (10/21/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Annie Dillard said many brilliant things. This is one to hold onto. "I think that the dying pray at the last not ‘please', but ‘thank you', as a guest thanks a host at the door."¯

Don ... 

FULL STORY >>


Comfort zones (10/14/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "For it is not physical solitude that actually separates one from other men, not physical isolation, but spiritual isolation"¯ - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

From the embryonic euphoria of the maternal wom ... 

FULL STORY >>


Woman’s World (10/07/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"The basic discovery about any people is the discovery of the relationship between its men and women."¯ -Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973)

Most levelheaded women today, secure in their proficiency, don't  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Boomer rumors (09/30/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It's not the years in your life that count, it's the life in your years."¯ When you live it up just keep in mind - it may take the rest of your life to live it down! The Baby Boomers have done thei ... 

FULL STORY >>


Growing pains (09/23/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Oh, to be young and free again! What a blast those good old school days were! Kids nowadays have it made! Yeah? Guess again! It's something that the balding, heavier, and slower moving Baby Boomer mi ... 

FULL STORY >>


The write obsession (09/16/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

Guess what! Writers are weird! Benjamin Franklin wrote while in a bathtub, inspired by a luxurious, warm soaking. There were those who have indulged in the use of opium or alcohol to trigger ideas.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shadow dancing (09/09/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

I saw the light! A shadow of someone reaching toward a radiant warmth engulfed me, and all the discomforts of pneumonia faded into a serene peace. The shadow I saw in a feverish stupor was myself. ... 

FULL STORY >>


The in-between times (09/02/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Here in Winona County, everyone's personal spaces are undergoing a gradual, at times drastic, seasonal transition. All the earth around us turns, like seething waves of a sea, back into itself, submit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Aftermath (08/29/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Adapt the peace of nature; her secret is patience."¯

I took a walk on the picture perfect morning of August 25th, following a week of dreary skies and a catastrophic disaster of colossal proportions ... 

FULL STORY >>


The call of the wild (08/26/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Animals in my life are limited, as in no pets. Our children's families have them. I've gone so far as to buy Mike and Christie's yellow Lab Christmas gifts. Since they introduced Buckshot to us as our ... 

FULL STORY >>


Youth on the move (08/19/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Across the country, college campuses are brewing with creative campaigns to bypass Washington and reengage the world."¯ "We'll need to work with others, listen to their ideas, and sometimes follow t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Shakespeare rocks! (08/08/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There was a lump in the throat, a tear in the eye, and admiration on the sea of beaming faces that Sunday, July 29th, at the "Farewell to the Season,"¯ presented at the close of Season 4 of Winona's G ... 

FULL STORY >>


Pink flamingos and other birds (08/05/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Progress might have been all right once, but it has gone on too long."¯ -Ogden Nash

To think of all the technological advances in my lifetime alone is mind boggling, plus hard on the checkbook. Wil ... 

FULL STORY >>


A multicultural society (07/29/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"Much of what's driving human migration is the fact that 80 percent of the world's wealth is being controlled in the industrialized West by 20 percent of the world's population. As a society we have ... 

FULL STORY >>


The state of the Union (07/22/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "If we shut down illegal immigration, a program to legalize our ‘guest workers' would be a matter of necessity to save American agriculture."¯

"We, the citizens of the United States, are lying ... 

FULL STORY >>


Kind in deed (07/15/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's been said that the kindest thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. It is in the first home that a person's character is formed. Unconditional love is the catalyst for mutu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Minds in slow motion (07/08/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The soul is about as invisible as a flower turning a bud to fullness. At some juncture you realize that it's been transformed, but the fulfillment of the miracle is quicker than the eye.

Kahlil Gibr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Destiny’s child (07/01/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, "We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future."¯ But youth today seems to be short-lived and far from naive. Where is the ... 

FULL STORY >>


A prayer and a song (06/24/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Oh, what a beautiful morning; oh, what a beautiful day. I've got a wonderful feeling everything's going my way!"¯

Fragrant spring winds sing with innuendoes: ancient beach sand between tanned toes ... 

FULL STORY >>


The weight of their words (06/17/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The real measure of one's wealth is how much he'd be worth if he lost all his worldly possessions. There is an old story that goes like this. A small town church was holding auditions for a religious  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Start with the people (06/10/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's amazing! People in Winona County are so friendly and approachable! Anyone might come up to you in a store and begin to chat as if you were long lost friends! I recently spent half an hour in a st ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time is money (06/03/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's a matter of time - all those handy household devices and gadgets. What does everybody do with all this time they supposedly save using these technological wonders? First of all, someone in the ho ... 

FULL STORY >>


Breathing lessons (05/27/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"We live beneath a father's sky that changes wonder to uncertainty. No wind blows warm that does not echo of a colder day. No sunlight lives that does not have the hint of shadow."¯ -Kent Nerburn, f ... 

FULL STORY >>


Take a moment (05/20/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "There were times when I could not sacrifice the bloom of the moment to any work, whether of the head or hand."¯ "I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mother sang Redwing (05/13/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Mothers give their children the very best of themselves. Recalling our youth completes us. Even the heartbreaking and the tragic must be brought back, unleashed and forgiven"¦those things you finally  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lewiston’s old school (05/06/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Here we are in the twenty first century and we're still: reading books (well, a few), sitting in classrooms, dealing with homework, stopping for school buses on gravel roads, sharpening pencils, goin ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spiritual deliverance (04/29/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come."¯ -Arapaho proverb

I have marked oodles of noteworthy lines throughout Kathleen Norris's "Dakota - A Spiritual Geography"¯, a most intriguing ke ... 

FULL STORY >>


Humor bridges a gap (04/15/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns --

"So, okay, in the end, maybe I am proud to be an Indian. But I don't want to wear a T-shirt with my tribal enrollment number printed on the front and a photograph of Sitting Bull ironed on the back. ... 

FULL STORY >>


A call for unity (04/08/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- To encourage unity and brotherly love and to rally against racism is a Christian mission. Living out the religion one professes and takes part in is also expected. I needed a wake up call! After all,  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The old ones (04/01/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Both monasteries and the rural communities on the Plains are places where nothing much happens. Paradoxically, they are also places where being open to conversion is most necessary if community is to ... 

FULL STORY >>


The shopping cart blues (03/18/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I'm proud of today's senior husbands! They scan meat counters for the best cuts, tap melons, read labels on cans and boxes, and wing it without shopping lists!

Are you a grape taster? Pat gets all em ... 

FULL STORY >>


Notes of a frazzled traveler (03/04/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The sky doesn't tell you where you are, but of course if you look up, above the high stucco wall surrounding a small motel deck, where the top of a palm tree sways, you get a clue that you aren't in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Winter bouquets (02/25/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Nature sends no formal invitations and expects no RSVPs. To enter its realm the land demands only two stipulations - that you respect each living organism as though they were your possessions, and to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot flashes (02/04/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- At the turn of a new year we look ahead, always hoping deep down that this will be the year of peace, reform, and justice for all. Anyway, living's not all beginnings and endings - it's the in-betwee ... 

FULL STORY >>


Instant Replay II (01/28/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Traditional blueprints from the past can be prudent guides to what begs to be accomplished in the future.

In a recent survey, 89% of 1,000 citizens said they're optimistic about what 2007 will bri ... 

FULL STORY >>


Breathe easy (01/14/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Take five deep breaths, a chill pill, a large dose of chocolate, settle into a yoga position, and call me in the morning. Contentment may be easier to achieve now that the busy Holiday season has tam ... 

FULL STORY >>


The spirit of a child (01/07/2007)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The world of childhood should be, ideally, enchanting, secure, affectionate, playful, inquisitive, and every nurturing and loving attribute one can imagine.

Those who have experienced the free spir ... 

FULL STORY >>


The invitation (12/31/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The most compelling messages are revealed by the way you live your life, not by the sermons you give.

I just heard yet another one of unending news reports calling attention to the ever-present war ... 

FULL STORY >>


From the land of the ’60s (12/10/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The Times They Are A-Changin'"¯ was a 1964 album by Duluth native Bob Dylan, who became a celebrated folk singer/writer.

By 1970, as fellow 1963 Lewiston High School graduates proceeded with life  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost in the ’60s again (12/03/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was the suppressed poet, jotting down idealistic masterpieces in tattered tablets, while doing my time in the laundry room or in a rocking chair. Years later I forgave my romantic aspirations, pursu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Speaking of words (11/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Be careful what words you spew - you might end up eating them.

My family would likely agree that I'm seldom at a loss for words. Even I, "motor mouth,"¯ realize there aren't always words to express h ... 

FULL STORY >>


True colors (11/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "What you see is what you get."¯ To be more precise, "You can't make a prince out of a redneck."¯ Or, as Steve Martin would say, "What it is, is what it is."¯

Anyone who's refurbished old furniture o ... 

FULL STORY >>


A mockery of integrity (11/05/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Attention! Attention! Read all about it! High school students admit to cheating! Deceitfulness runs rampant! Parents didn't have a clue! Counselors are available at school all week for moral support! ... 

FULL STORY >>


Money matters (10/15/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Extravagant spending? There's no such thing. Today it's accepted behavior. It's a broken record: "Can't live without it!"¯ "I've worked hard - I've earned it."¯ "Please Daddy!"¯

What purpose do they  ... 

FULL STORY >>


$ and no sense (10/08/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I have found that policies developed on myths and folktales have led to one failure after another for natural resources."¯ "...a myth sometimes is perpetuated by scientists in spite of growing eviden ... 

FULL STORY >>


Comic relief (09/24/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone."¯ - Reba McEntire

Isn't it funny what makes people laugh? Nobody knows the exact era when comedy was born, but eve ... 

FULL STORY >>


Heartwood and soul (09/17/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- When I was a little shaver living in the small town of Lewiston with my folks and two younger sisters and a brother, life seemed so simplistic and secure. The farm kids were tougher and often came to  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The unchanging center (09/10/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The white man does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative process. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and the soil. Men must be born and reborn  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Not just a statistic (08/27/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Did you know - 31% of the employed and their spouses, age 40 and older, have not saved a dime for retirement?

Like treading water with no life jacket on, retiring from a career or steady employment w ... 

FULL STORY >>


A theory of moments (08/20/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry."¯ - Henry David Thoreau, from "Walden"¯

Because enough is never quite enough, the ... 

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That was then (08/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "This ain't my first rodeo,"¯ Vern Gosdin chortles. Live, learn, and hang tough. With age comes change. Personal habits, quirks, lifestyles, and philosophies don't usually carry through from one seaso ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hot flash on pain relief (07/30/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I want nothing to do with natural foods. At my age I need all the preservatives I can get."¯ None other than George Burns could have said that. We usually don't get enough of the things we don't want ... 

FULL STORY >>


...and gone tomorrow (07/23/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- My thoughts guide me back, one bare foot at a time.

I daydream, sitting out front on our wooden bench on what must be one of the most gorgeous July days on record. I grew up just a couple of city blo ... 

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Naked truths (07/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "A tree has significance if one sees it against the empty face of sky. A note in music gains significance from the silences on either side. A candle flowers in the space of night. Even small and casua ... 

FULL STORY >>


Papa’s lap (06/18/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Here is a test to find out whether your mission on earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't."¯ - Richard Bach

With the birth of children grandpas evolve. Today we honor fathers, not to slight th ... 

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Thumbs down (05/14/2006)
Don't take "no"¯ for an answer! No dice! My lips say "no"¯ but my tummy screams "bring it on!"¯ What part of "no"¯ don't you understand? Read on.

The 2-letter word that really gets around, "NO"¯ has  ... 

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Choose pride (05/07/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The facts, ma'am, just gimmie the facts."¯ "Joe Friday U.S.A."¯ was upright and dedicated back in the days when simplicity was entertainment enough. The world of comedy and satire is only a small por ... 

FULL STORY >>


Days of our lives (04/30/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Our lives aren't quite as predictably ridiculous as soap operas. Consequences aren't dictated by a script and, though one may be influenced and pressured by others, there is no production "director"¯  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lessons in laughter (04/23/2006)
Some of the most treasured memories of my childhood are times spent with my Aunt Ellen out on the Wollin's Bethany homestead. She taught us Lewis kids how to play canasta, Chinese checkers, and rummy, ... 

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Grow deep (04/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Here lies another day

During which I have eyes, ears, hands

And the great world ‘round me;

And with tomorrow begins another.

Why am I allowed two?

-G.K. Chesterton

Here in the fertile Midw ... 

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Inaccuracy of TRUTH (04/09/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Honesty establishes a harmony between our beliefs and our actions - between heart and soul."¯ - Sigmund Freud

"The truth will come out in the end,"¯ is an ancient maxim used often by parents  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A mother’s visit (04/02/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- March 4, 2006: We are immersed in the sounds of our youngest son's home...how they fill an empty nest's void with warm-blooded life. Spurts of a new era's activity commingle with frames unreeling from ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dearly departed (03/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Often times, silence speaks the loudest.

Hollow echoes of footsteps levitate from hardwood floors, through sullen rooms. Heavy with age, velvet drapes sag across blank windows. Walls, stiff and cold, ... 

FULL STORY >>


The old neighborhood II (03/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As we travel to our camper in Chetek, we pass through many bergs with storefronts boarded up. All over the countryside abandoned barns and deserted farms tell the tale. Yet, one will find rural commun ... 

FULL STORY >>


Doohickeys and hubbies (03/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- by Janet Lewis Burns

I kid you not - Websters New World acknowledges whatchamacallit as a legitimate word, defined as a thingamajig. What's more, if you ask for your doohickey, you won't be grammat ... 

FULL STORY >>


There’s an adage for that (02/26/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet and what is sand."¯ - Madeleine L'Engle

It's a revelation revisit ... 

FULL STORY >>


Give us this day (02/19/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Insight on walking up a steep hill backwards: "It's a psychological trick that helps make a steep ascent easier: you stay focused on how much you've already accomplished rather than being overwhelmed  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Identity theft (02/12/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It's not what someone calls you, but what you answer to that matters."¯ Thanks Maya Angelou!

Name-calling has been going on since the first word spoken - "mine."¯ Recently looking back in time and s ... 

FULL STORY >>


Out of the blue (02/06/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Look at me now! Say chirp, chirp! Oh, darn!"¯ I can tell you exactly how long it takes a songbird to flee its perch when it hears the stealth of a human invading its territory.

I can do you one bet ... 

FULL STORY >>


What retirement isn’t (01/29/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I recently gave up my bookkeeping job down at M&M Lawn & Leisure in Rushford. It's mainly about driving on treacherous winter roads. I'm not comfortable with the notion of "retirement"¯ yet.

I'd assu ... 

FULL STORY >>


Humble beginnings (01/22/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- To live with tears in your eyes, smiles on your lips, awareness in your gaze, and scents of the earth on your hands, is to live richly.

Delicate flowers are a delightful contrast to man's crude handi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mirages and interludes (01/16/2006)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- For women only! (And maybe not.) There is that secret place, where most young married mothers retreat to, a sentimental interlude of the mind.

Releasing the longing for romance and dreams of fleeing  ... 

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Who fired that shot? (12/12/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Every one of us, if we live long enough, will learn the exact same thing numerous times during one lifetime (and not even know it).

The most compelling thing about "TRUTH"¯ is that only a fool or an  ... 

FULL STORY >>


The wise guys (12/04/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive where we started

And know the place for the first time.

- T.S. Eliot

Do people read self-help books to determine if they are who they thi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Been there - done that (11/13/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Walk a mile in my orthodics and spandex fanny pants,"¯ says the domestic diva to the master of the household. "I'm off to the gym! Have supper ready."¯

This article, by a 60 year old, is thoughtfull ... 

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Kindred horizons - A tribute to Rosa Parks (11/06/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- No two individuals see things in the exact same light. As we move on, shadows remain...irreversible paths crossed.

Horizons marred by dominance break the spirit of others. Where mankind's custody has ... 

FULL STORY >>


Body language (10/31/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I've got the calendar! That maligned, then highly praised "Women Of Purpose."¯ I had hoped I'd like it.

As the photos captivated my attention, and when I read the stories behind the calendar, I saw t ... 

FULL STORY >>


Songs sung blue (10/23/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- With her trilling, syrupy voice and down home song lyrics, Dolly Parton has told her life's story through her music.

I cry me a river every time I hear her sing "my coat of many colors that my mother ... 

FULL STORY >>


Time will tell (10/16/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- October is just beginning and already autumn is having its way with me. My gaze is directed heavenward to fleeting geese in formation. Flesh tingles with a brisker flutter of leaves on the verge of le ... 

FULL STORY >>


Woodpile and ashes (10/09/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The final breath of this past summer is not likely to blow over as so much dust in the wind. For storm victims the summer of 2005 went out with a gasp, a roar, and a gulp. Now a weighty sigh for what  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mismatched furniture (10/01/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Two words from yesteryear seem to be monopolizing my train of thought as I helplessly view and hear reports about tragedy and loss caused by recent natural disasters. Those words will come later.

It' ... 

FULL STORY >>


Property repossessed (09/18/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the earth, at our camping site, we embedded a stepping stone of multicolored glass shards that our granddaughter had made. Some folks mark their property with the year of construction imprinted in  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Saga of 1963 (09/11/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It was the era of "Puff The Magic Dragon"¯ and "Petticoat Junction."¯ Women were swooning over the Cartwrights on "Bonanza,"¯ and teens were gaga over the swingin', puppy-lovin' movie "Beach Party,"¯  ... 

FULL STORY >>


A summer affair (08/28/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Wanderlust is calling...my passion can't be quelled. The magic of richly hued finery, flirtatious winks, and aroma therapy, beckons a smitten admirer. Beyond visual gratification, I reach out to embra ... 

FULL STORY >>


Come as you are (08/21/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Sit a spell and chat. Take a load off and have a glass of lemonade. How ya been?"¯

"Things we do anonymously in big cities, such as buying groceries, filling the car up with gas, or making a bank de ... 

FULL STORY >>


Yesterday’s wine (08/14/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- One thing reminds a person of something else. It happens more frequently when one's on the farther side of racking up memories. Sentimental remembrances flash past us like innuendoes of fate.

Laura I ... 

FULL STORY >>


Name that tune (07/24/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- If you can't be the composer - be the song.

Do we take life far too seriously to enjoy it? Do we tend to act-out melodramas and theatrics in our daily lives? Self-imposed busy work and ringing echoes ... 

FULL STORY >>


Spiritual research (06/26/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "It may be that the strongest bonds are forged in silence. In a Zen monastery, monks work side by side for hours without ever speaking. Yet the sense of fraternity grows steadily without the aid of co ... 

FULL STORY >>


A time to be old (06/19/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Don't count the years - count the blessings.

A lush, daylily scent lifts from the row of yellow blooms, appearing in a tousled, reckless state, left to grow at will. Last winter surpassed intentions, ... 

FULL STORY >>


A shutterbug’s manifesto (06/12/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Black and white configurations: Draw the drapes! Unfurl the shades! Windows hold us within our spaces, as well as welcoming the greater world into focus. Opened windows commingle stale vapors of confi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lost in the ‘50s again (05/29/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- There pervades a comfortable aura through the mind-clutter of youthful memories. In poignant dreams our subconscious fast-forwards bits and pieces of how it played out. No need to plug anything in or  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Stolen moments (05/22/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I am a strong believer and imbiber of quality time to myself, to step outside of my own shadow, to breathe personal air.

Stolen moments can flow like an artist's sweeping color strokes, but sometimes ... 

FULL STORY >>


Mothers love us anyway (05/08/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I didn't know enough to appreciate all Mom did as I was living out youthful beginnings. Somewhere between "I do"¯ and "now what!?"¯ I understood.

With no electronic marvels, our two-story home on Fre ... 

FULL STORY >>


The face in the storm (03/27/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- English has always been my passion. Math was my downfall in school, yet, I've been a bookkeeper for thirty-six years. Oh, the twists and turns of fate!

I recall an English assignment for Mrs. Kalmes' ... 

FULL STORY >>


Incidental miracles (03/20/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The mystery is simply that there is a mystery, a mystery that can never be explained or understood, only encountered from time to time. Nothing is obvious. Everything conceals something."¯ - Lawrence ... 

FULL STORY >>


Young friends and old games (03/06/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Back in the 50s baseball was big. Area town teams played in heated competition, strutting their stuff for cheering, jeering fans of all ages. In Lewiston, the field ambled behind the twelve-grade scho ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s all in my head! (02/27/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's all I can think about! It's all I can do to keep from rolling down store aisles in uncontrollable laughter. In fact, "it's all"¯ a lot of things, in conversation. I started thinking of all the "i ... 

FULL STORY >>


Girls of summer II (02/20/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Kids, don't try this in your hometown. After all, it was a different world back in the mellow 50s and 60s. Strolling the streets of "Smallville"¯ USA was common back then. Today folks power-walk and j ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lewiston’s colorful spirit (02/13/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- In the days of unlocked doors and a cup of borrowed sugar, congenial, trustworthy neighbors, going about their daily routines, crisscrossed the mind's eye...and soon years unfolded into my adulthood.  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Between engagements (01/30/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Once he carried a gun through the forests and was thrilled."¯ "Once he cast a lure and shouted when the fish struck."¯ "If he lifts his weary eyes, it is only to make sure he has not strayed from the ... 

FULL STORY >>


The hatching of 2005 (01/09/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As the first month of 2005 breaks through a promising dawn, thoughts of what a new year might bring is both troubling and challenging. Time will tell. The late John Lennon once said, "Life is what hap ... 

FULL STORY >>


In all honesty (01/01/2005)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Inappropriate behavior is shunned. Never pick your nose in public, don't floss your teeth in a restaurant, and don't gift your office manager with soap on a rope, an Emeril cooking apron, or one of th ... 

FULL STORY >>


As tradition goes (12/19/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Can one still hear that little drummer boy, when the festive house is aglow and peacefully still? Bing Crosby's White Christmas seems to lack the luster of snow around these parts. As I write today, D ... 

FULL STORY >>


Between engagements (12/05/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Once he carried a gun through the forests and was thrilled."¯ "Once he cast a lure and shouted when the fish struck."¯ "If he lifts his weary eyes, it is only to make sure he has not strayed from the ... 

FULL STORY >>


Life’s sentences (11/28/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The pen is the tongue of the mind."¯ - Miguel Cervantes, "Don Quixote"¯

Bookkeeping's dull routine is so noisy I can't hear myself think. Duties of office work, with its cruel glitches, put creativi ... 

FULL STORY >>


Faces of Thanksgiving (11/21/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- How many ways are there to say "THANKS?"¯ Babies can't utter it, but one just knows by a tender gaze, a "goo goo,"¯ outstretched arms, and even a comical spatter of lunch in the kisser. Thanks from a  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Boomers - the generous generation? (11/14/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The thirty-third president of the U.S., Harry S. Truman kept a plaque on his White House desk with the maxim "The buck stops here,"¯ announcing his responsibility for the situation at hand.

Are today ... 

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On wings of discovery (11/07/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The First

The first man who whistled

thought he had a wren in his mouth.

He went around all day

with his lips puckered,

afraid to swallow.

- Wendell Berry

There's something charming an ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lean on funny bones (10/31/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Laugh and the world laughs with you; wage a war and you stand alone.

The citizens of the United States were forced to get serious in a hurry, with the onslaught of enemies at every border. At such ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Love’s dull routine (10/24/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The names in this article have been changed to protect the innocent (or the guilty). They shall be "he"¯ and "she."¯ This is not an article that throws out clever adages concerning perfect harmony and ... 

FULL STORY >>


Hand over hand (10/17/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Seeming like another lifetime, images of lithe, flitting shadows around a campfire, where toasted marshmallows and lighthearted conversation were shared, bring to mind our children, giddy with the adv ... 

FULL STORY >>


Against the grain (10/10/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I recall Mom saying, "That really irks me to no end!"¯ Truthfully, I thought that "irk"¯ might have been one of our family's pet words, back when I had not yet broken away from the suffocating space o ... 

FULL STORY >>


Think before you think? (10/03/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Psychologists have found that 95% or more of it (mental noise) is totally repetitive. Perhaps 10% of those thought processes, at most, are actually needed to deal with life."¯ I ask myself quizzicall ... 

FULL STORY >>


Where have you been? (09/26/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Pause to smell the roses before you lose your sense of smell. Living can be a constant "search"¯ when one cares to poke around. You're never too old to learn (or too smart). To continuously seek, eage ... 

FULL STORY >>


When sisters talk (09/19/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Two women, both talking at the same time, walk briskly past display windows at the mall, oblivious to others, mindlessly turning around to head back where they had begun, arms flailing in emotional ex ... 

FULL STORY >>


Preservatives and red hats (09/12/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- If insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt would make a person more attractive, wouldn't it be a beautiful world!

What is it in staring eyes of the elderly, the stone-still glare, the confusion in the wr ... 

FULL STORY >>


Aging brain alert (08/29/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I was so much older then...I'm younger than that now."¯ - Bob Dylan. We allow ourselves to be giddily uninhibited, and openly don't act our age.

We are labeled Baby Boomers, who "chill out"¯ with ti ... 

FULL STORY >>


Autumn-in-August reflections (08/22/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Is this really August 11? It may not be April in Paris or a blue moon turning to gold again, but this unseasonable weather is getting a whirlwind of attention. "Indian Summer"¯ for Thanksgiving? Who k ... 

FULL STORY >>


From romantic to spacey (08/15/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I remember singing along with Kate Smith to "When the Moon Comes Over the Mountain,"¯ putting me in a melancholy mood, a naive girl too young to date. One of the first TV programs to grace our living  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Parting is such sweet compost (08/08/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- One of the best ideas I've heard of in a month of Sundays! Why not back-to-nature burials? The August AARP Bulletin's article by Barbara Basler, "Green Graveyards"¯ offers a beautiful repose. Death is ... 

FULL STORY >>


Give them pickles! (08/01/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Wal-Mart is the world's largest company, selling in three months what number two retailer Home Depot sells in a year.

Gib Carey, a partner at Bain & Co., has been quoted as saying, "Our clients canno ... 

FULL STORY >>


It’s not a good thing (07/18/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Bigger is badder! Well, in some cases that's true. I've recently read that McDonalds opens up 2,800 restaurants a year. One out of every five meals in the U.S. is fast food. Out with brown bag lunches ... 

FULL STORY >>


A random society (07/11/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "In little towns, lives roll along so close to one another; loves and hates beat about, their wings almost touching."¯ - early American author Willa Cather

So close and yet so far away. On the wings  ... 

FULL STORY >>


Lewiston’s Harley and Hank (07/04/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Home, as far as I'm concerned, is the place you have to leave. And then, if you're like me, spend the rest of your life mourning."¯ - Paulette Bates Alden

One's old "stomping grounds"¯ are never com ... 

FULL STORY >>


Does anybody know what time it is? (06/27/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- TIME is what we have when all is said and done. Time is what we wish we'd have more of one minute, and a clock-watcher's desire for a speed dial the next.

Hickory dickory dock! Tick-tock, tick-tock r ... 

FULL STORY >>


Dads pass white glove test (06/20/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A young boy questioned his mother about the meaning behind ashes on each forehead at Ash Wednesday Mass. She brusquely told him that it means that all humans have arisen from dust and will return to d ... 

FULL STORY >>


Nothing is new for long (06/12/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Each subsequent snippet of time is a place you've never been. The more exuberantly and intensely one lives - the more freely positive energy flows, both outward and inward. One must be wary not to sho ... 

FULL STORY >>


CONTEMPT a 4-letter word? (06/06/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Malice does more damage to the vessel it's in that to the object of contempt.

What a subject, contempt. I didn't seek it out. Actually, I've alighted upon a great deal of witty ditties in a book comp ... 

FULL STORY >>


Other places....different vibes (05/30/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- To be or not to be...that is the conundrum.

Between a rock and a hard place is not where one would likely choose to be. Some individuals have an inborn capacity to overcome any obstacle. Others sit t ... 

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Another place to be... (05/23/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Out of our element: As we traveled south, the most disturbing tidbit I had recorded was not Pat's boo-boo, as he cut his chin while shaving, in a modest motel somewhere in Perry, Florida. The heading, ... 

FULL STORY >>


Get real already! (05/16/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Your mother would turn over in her grave! It's amazing what us Baby Boomers don't do for ourselves anymore. You weren't raised to be so highfalutin and hotsy-totsy!

"Humans need not apply."¯ It seems ... 

FULL STORY >>


High road - low road (05/09/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- How can logic expect the next generation to cope with the tangle and turmoil, the traffic jams our lives have become? Heaven on earth experiences seem to be swept away as soon as they alight. Maybe ea ... 

FULL STORY >>


Bare bones (05/02/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "I'm blue to the bone,"¯ an old country song goes. We have bone-dry, "Bony Marino,"¯ our mother's nose, chilled to the bone, tired bones, and a bone to pick. If you have the latter, pick a wishbone... ... 

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Chase your cares away with Feng Shui (04/25/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- My curiosity kicked in when my massage therapist Geri Naal posed this question: "If one is not familiar with something does it still work?"¯ Shawne Mitchell's book "Simple Feng Shui"¯ states that it d ... 

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Tea and sympathy (04/18/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "The part in us that feels suffering is the same as the part that feels joy."¯ Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, from "Kitchen Table Wisdom"¯

Without warning, life contradictions begin to occur. We used to go  ... 

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Rooted in LIFE (04/11/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Loosen your hands,

Let go and say good-bye.

Let the stars and songs go.

Let the faces and years go.

Loosen your hands and say

good-bye. - Carl Sandberg

I reached for an Easter story, not very  ... 

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A child’s art of discovery (04/04/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The first time we heard her rattle off the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in Spanish, Pat and I looked at each other in astonishment. Our first grandchild, Alyssa, eight, never ceases to amaze us wi ... 

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The school of hard knocks (03/28/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I came home from a long and haunting week, on Friday, March 12, grateful to be there. I could barely pull my weighted body up the steps.

I absently did my routine chores before settling into my accom ... 

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Carla’s vision of Grace Place (03/14/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."¯ - Epistle to the Hebrews

Dreams of the heart can come true. It all began with Carla Burton's vision, followed by an an ... 

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Jerks - perks - smirks (03/07/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Career politicians and telemarketers have sent me reeling over the cuckoo's nest a time or two. I try to keep my cool, bearing in mind that they're all someone's son, mother, sister, nephew, significa ... 

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My home town 1950-something (02/29/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Your neighbor is...the hobo who wandered into town, the school board struggling to make the right decision, participants of a benefit for a teen stricken with cancer, locals pitching in during a torna ... 

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Chief Run Amok and the Buddha (02/22/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- What do we see as we travel to distant places, on what we Americans call "vacation?"¯ From one reality to another, and with varied inborn characteristics, we don't all march to the beat of the same bo ... 

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Regards, Mr. Peters, wherever you are! (02/15/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- When yesterday becomes tomorrow, and regrets and triumphs begin to pile up, one realizes that he or she has been around the block more than a few times. Ignorance is bliss, hindsight is twenty-twenty, ... 

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Let there be light! (02/08/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I was shocked as I read about the reactions of some of the people who, blind from birth, at last were thrust into the vast galaxy of "sight."¯ Why had I always assumed that such a turn of events could ... 

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Lewiston hospitality (02/01/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Having a place to go is Home.

Having someone to love is family.

Having both is a Blessing.

That is the message on the wall hanging Pat and I gave Uncle Hilbert and Aunt Alma Wollin when they moved  ... 

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What’s your basic problem? (01/25/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep and you weep alone; for the sad old earth must borrow its mirth, but has trouble enough of its own."¯

We've been living in a society that strives to be "ris ... 

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Speaking of the spoken word (01/18/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Not every man is born with a silver spoon in his mouth."¯ Who said that? When a phrase has been thrown around for centuries, who knows for sure that the one accredited for its origin is accurate and, ... 

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Now, back in my day... (01/11/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- We are living in a world of competition and consumerism. In America, the word revolution is used to sell pantyhose. It isn't "in"¯ to say, the real measure of a man's wealth is how much he'd be worth  ... 

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Christmas’ mixed messages (01/04/2004)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The holidays bring different things to different people. Christmas holds significance and mystery for everyone, taking into account that it means nothing to some. Those who don't believe have no reaso ... 

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Lemons, pink flamingos and cures (12/28/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- As the so-called "golden years"¯ become tarnished, things are viewed in a different light, and come in a larger size, since "auld lang syne."¯

Forever in blue jeans, babe! Conformed to my body, worn  ... 

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When all is said and done (12/21/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, but Mama my intentions were the best."¯ A Randy Travis country song bemoans admirable intentions gone sour. I remember my folks occasionally s ... 

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Disorder In The House (12/14/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Letting go/in order to hold on/I gradually understand how poems are made."¯ "There is a place the loss must go./There is a place the gain must go./ The leftover love."¯

The first and last stanzas of ... 

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Leftover turkey and gratitude (12/07/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A saying that originated in a hit song in 1931, even though the Great Depression was worsening, "Life is just a bowl of cherries"¯ was later contorted to bitter irony in Erma Bombeck's 1978 best-selli ... 

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Broken promises... moving on (11/30/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "Shelby Steele challenges black Americans to embrace a pride based on achievement and cultural contribution, and to abandon the self-defeating pride of victimization."¯ This was taken from the introdu ... 

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True confessions of a baby boomer (11/23/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Even the best of intentions can be burdensome. I interrupt my "serious series"¯ to take a pause for the cause with this laugh-o'-gram. I was born on the far end of Baby Boomerdom, right after World Wa ... 

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Broken promises...broken dreams - Part II (11/16/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- by Janet Lewis Burns

"We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools."¯ - Martin Luther King

I can remember only one instance when I felt vulnerable and white-knuc ... 

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Broken promises... broken dreams - Part 1 (11/09/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "For every man who lives without freedom, the rest of us must face the guilt."¯ - Lillian Hellman

I often long for others to hear, from a bouquet of words, what I hear when I read from others, of dif ... 

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Football not the only game in town (11/02/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I'd just as soon pass on tackling a column about football. I'd rather butt heads with poets and prophets in a flowering field of dreams, heady with masterstroke, no helmets required.

On a picture-per ... 

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Cheap talk and golden silence (10/26/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It's a matter of credibility. Who listens to no-names? Why does one have to be famous to be quoted...or are your words what make you noteworthy? Huh. Hasn't every little and big thing been said by now ... 

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Trivial pursuits? (10/19/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- "If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well."¯ Work and responsibility are inseparable concepts, and both are the foundations of self-esteem.

Didn't you ever wish that you could take back time? ... 

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Stolen bases & kisses (10/12/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- It was about as close to being there as I've been in ages. Home from the office, to the Lewiston place where I've lived for 27 years, it was a delicious, windows-unfurled September afternoon. Somethin ... 

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Unfinished desires (09/28/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- I wasted most of my youth growing up. Child-rearing years were squandered on mindless busywork and attempted domestic perfection. Volunteering took its toll. As years unfold, in mid-life, toward old a ... 

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The Pied Piper of the north (09/21/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- A lulling hush fell over the entire grounds. The penetrating music filtered through giant oaks, eerie and uplifting on a sleepy, steamy afternoon.

On rare occasions he's strolled the paths of Oak Gro ... 

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Bird talk (09/14/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- Who killed Cock Robin? The mystery began as our friends and neighbors Dawn and Kent Erdmann went on vacation in August - not unusual. We watch one another's houses at such times. The neighbor to our e ... 

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A brief history of LABOR (08/31/2003)
By Janet Lewis Burns -- The cave man of prehistoric times probably never hung out at a Hard Rock Cafe or heard the likes of the Rolling Stones perform. He wasn't a buddy of Fred Flintstone, or a hero of any dinosaur rodeo. T ... 

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